Tuesday, 16 September 2008 2:44 PM

Police Commissioner Post Yet to be Advertised

The Chairman of the Police and Prison Services Commission, Edmund Andresen, has said that he has not received any explanations from the Ministry of Public Service on why the post of Commissioner of Police, has not been advertised.

Andresen said that the Police and Prison Services Commission met and directed the Ministry of Public Service to advertise the position following a decision made by Cabinet.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Ishmael Avui was not available on Friday to comment on the matter as he was attending a meeting to discuss the issue of salary increases (COLA) for public officers.

The Police Commissioner issue was raised by a senior member of the Solomon Islands Police last week when he said that there was a general reservation amongst senior Solomon Islands officers in the police about the Government plan to recruit an overseas expatriate to take up the post.

The post became vacant when the former Fijian born Commissioner Jahir Khan was forced to leave early when the new Sikua government took over last December. Khan was considered by the Government and some members of the public to be more closely connected with the former Sogavare led Government.

Responding to a question raised during the last Parliament meeting Police and National Security Minister Sam Manetoali said that the Government was planning to get an expatriate to fill the vacancy adding that the Government preferred a UK police commissioner.

The local police officer who asked to remain anonymous said that there is a strong feeling within the force that while they appreciated done by RAMSI to rebuild the police force there needs to be a re-think about another expatriate commissioner.

The officer said that to have a local person to be police commissioner now would give him or her the time needed to be trained in the position under the help of RAMSI so that he or she would be fully equipped to take take full control of the force once RAMSI leaves Solomon Islands.

With National Express

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