“In accordance with article 90(1) of the Constitution, the President, on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, appoints the Ombudsman. Similarly, in accordance with section 2(2) of the Act, the Deputy Ombudsman is appointed on the same basis.
The SCA reiterates its previous recommendation, made in November 2016, that the process currently enshrined in the enabling Law is not sufficiently broad and transparent. In particular, it does not
– require the advertisement of vacancies; and
– 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 Ombudsman 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.”