“In accordance with Section 11 (1) of the CHRAGG Act, the Executive Secretary of the Commission shall be appointed by the President, after consultation with the Commission, from among persons holding or who have held senior position in the service of Government. The SCA is of the view that the appointment process is not sufficiently open and transparent.
Additionally, the SCA notes the CHRAGG reports that its staff recruitment process is conducted by the Public Service Recruitment Secretariat in collaboration with the CHRAGG, and that it must submit
its requirements to this body in order to recruit staff. The use of government-wide recruitment process for public servants is not inherently problematic so long as the process is transparent and objective and ensures merit-based selection.
The SCA notes that the CHRAGG has reported that it initiates the recruitment process and determines its personnel requirements and the qualifications for the positions it undertakes to fill. It further reports that senior members of the CHRAGG participate as members of the interview panel for quality assessment.
The SCA is of the view, however, that it would be preferable for the CHRAGG to have the power to undertake its own recruitment. The SCA notes that the CHRAGG reports that it is currently seeking ways to directly recruit its own staff.
NHRIs should be legislatively empowered to determine the staffing structure, the skills required to fulfil the institution’s mandate, to set other appropriate criteria (such as diversity), and to select their staff in accordance with national law. Staff should be recruited according to an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process that ensures pluralism. Such a process promotes the independence and effectiveness of, and public confidence in, the NHRI.
The SCA recommends that the CHRAGG advocates for amendments to Section 11 (1) CHRAGG Act
to ensure that the selection process of the Executive Secretary is open and transparent. The SCA also recommends that the CHRAGG advocate for the power to directly recruit its own staff.
The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.2 and to its General Observation 2.4 on ‘Recruitment and retention of NHRI staff’.”