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Papua New Guinea Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae has revoked the appointment of Gari Baki as acting police commissioner and appointed Francis Tokura to the position for three months, according to a national gazette.
In another development, the appointment of Peter Guinness as acting Deputy Commissioner (Operations) which was gazetted last Friday has also been revoked.
He will be replaced by assistant commissioner (operation) David Manning for a period of three months.
Sir Bob also confirmed in the gazette the appointment of acting deputy police commissioner (administration) Joanne Clarkson.
Tokura is expected to hold his first press conference today as acting police commissioner and secretary for the police department.
Police Minister Bryan Kramer told The National that the National Executive Council had revoked the appointment of Guinness, currently the northern region police commander, because he had reached the retirement age of 60.
Kramer said Manning, 43, would become the acting deputy commissioner (operations) for the next three months.
“The NEC revoked Guinness’ acting appointment for being ineligible after having reaching the retirement age of 60,” he said.
Kramer confirmed Tokura, Clarkson and Manning would be at the press conference today at the police headquarters in Konedobu.
Kramer said he had not received any word about a meeting between Tokura and Baki, which was supposed to have happened this week.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Bryan Kramer has sent a warning to all applicants to the substantive appointment for Police Commissioner that the screening process will dig up any skeletons they may have in their closets.
Kramer said the appointment committee will be applying a higher standard of scrutiny on applicants to ensure that only the most suitable candidates would be accepted for contention.
He said the possibility of receiving candidates with 100 per cent unblemished records would be unlikely, although it was the ultimate goal of the screening process.
“If you’ve been in the organisation for 40 years to 50 years, there’s always bound to be some issue in your time in service where you got yourself into trouble, Kramer said.
“If I was to apply the highest standard against the majority of 7000 members, my concern is that there would be no one left in the force.”
He said anyone putting their hand up for the top job would also be subjected to a thorough background check.
In relations to age restrictions, he said applicants would now be required to produce their passports as a verifiable document to avoid the problem of applicants changing their date of birth on their CVs.
With the recent blowout over the retirement age for police officers prescribed under law, the RPNGC and the Police Ministry are now instituting measures to not only retrench, but gradually phase-out over-aged career officers.
This direction was emphasised by Police Minister Bryan Kramer, although the question of funding still presents itself as a major hurdle to the initiative.
“It will be my priority to ensure that they (retrenched officers) receive their entitlements, Kramer said.
“There are actually senior members of the force, who were actually retired or pushed out of office, and have yet to receive their entitlements.”
Kramer said a number of initiatives, which he has now undertaken as police minister, are to ensure that officers, who have given 30-40 most of their lives to the service, could be retrenched, with the possibility of a “golden handshake” (a significant severance package, usually afforded executive employees upon retirement, retrenchment or termination) for those with unblemished service records.
Kramer said while funding was still an issue, the ministry and the RPNGC administration was now looking into alternatives such as retaining the most experienced and qualified officers as consultants to the police force.
This would effectively cut down their working hours to three days a week, allowing them to spend more time with their families, while being allowed to transfer their skills and knowledge to rising senior officers.
Kramer said the issue of allocating funding for the purposes of a retrenchment exercise has been raise during government caucus, although no definitive allocations have been made as yet.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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