“In November 2017, the SCA noted that according to Articles 138(9)(d) of the Constitution and 1(2) and 8 of the Law, the Ombudsperson and Deputy Ombudsperson are appointed by 60% majority vote of the Parliament. The enabling laws are otherwise silent on the selection process.
The SCA acknowledged that the PDDH reports that section 141 of Law No. 606 requires that, when a position becomes vacant, the Board of Directors requests that the plenary approve a resolution to call for an election, and that this call is published in a media publication with national circulation. The SCA further acknowledges that the PDDH indicates that its selection process is transparent and includes broad public consultation, including the full participation of civil society.
However, the SCA continues to be of the view that the selection process currently enshrined in the existing Law is not sufficiently broad and transparent. In particular, it does not specify the process for achieving broad consultation and/or participation in the application, screening, selection and appointment process.
It is critically important to ensure the formalization of a clear, transparent and participatory selection and appointment process for an NHRI’s decision-making body in relevant legislation, regulations or binding administrative guidelines, as appropriate. A process that promotes merit-based selection and ensures pluralism is necessary to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, the senior leadership of an NHRI.
The SCA encourages PDDH to continue to advocate for the formalization and application of a process that includes requirements to:
a) Publicize vacancies broadly;
b) Maximize the number of potential candidates from a wide range of societal groups and educational qualifications;
c) Promote broad consultation and / or participation in the application, screening, selection and appointment process;
d) Assess applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly-available criteria; and
e) Select members to serve in their individual capacity rather than on behalf of the organization they represent.
With respect to the involvement of civil society in the parliamentary process for selecting the Procurador, the SCA is of the view that this involvement should be direct rather than through members of Parliament. This could be achieved for example by:
– directly soliciting proposals from civil society;
– allowing civil society to directly participate in the evaluation process.”