- 02 December, 2016: Funds have been provided, in the Budget 2016-2017, for the filling of more than 12,000 vacancies in order to enable the Public Service to deliver on its mandate more effectively. These include vacancies which are meant to be filled under delegated powers and Government is determined to eliminate all bottlenecks in order to expedite the filling of these vacancies, the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, replied in the National Assembly on 29 November 2016 to a Parliamentary Question pertaining to the practice of the Public Service Commission (PSC) delegating its powers to Ministries for the recruitment of officers.
The Prime Minister pointed out that section 89(2)(a) of the Constitution provides that the PSC may, subject to such conditions as it thinks fit, delegate any of its powers by directions in writing to any Commissioner of the Commission or to any public officer. Moreover, he added that section 118 of the Constitution provides that the Commission may regulate its own procedure and shall not, in the exercise of its functions under the Constitution, be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth highlighted that it is a long-standing practice for the PSC to delegate its powers to Supervising Officers for the filling of vacancies in certain specific grades. Such provisions and practice of recruitment under delegated powers have obviously been introduced to relieve the PSC to some extent and speed up the filling of vacancies in the Public Service, he explained.
Moreover, the powers are delegated to public officers and not to Ministries, Sir Anerood Jugnauth stressed. Such recruitments under delegated powers are generally restricted to posts in the Workmen’s Group, although delegation is also given to Supervising Officers for appointment to other posts on a contractual/part-time/sessional basis. The Prime Minister emphasised on the fact that more than 75 per cent of vacancies in the Public Service are still filled by the PSC.
He recalled that the delegated powers are meant to be exercised by the Supervising Officers strictly within the parameters defined by the PSC in the instrument of delegation. The delegation is accompanied by a set of conditions which have to be complied with and which are meant to safeguard the integrity of the whole recruitment exercise.
The PSC does not abdicate its responsibility after delegating its powers. It maintains an oversight over the exercise and it can still withdraw any delegation if it suspects any misuse thereof, underscored the Prime Minister.
Furthermore, he highlighted that any person aggrieved by a decision pertaining to a recruitment exercise in the public service may apply for leave for judicial review of that exercise. That person will be granted leave provided that he satisfies the Supreme Court that there are grounds to grant leave for him to apply for judicial review, he underlined.
Moreover, appointments made under delegated powers in promotional grades are subject to appeal to the Public Bodies Appeal Tribunal under section 3 of the PBAT Act, stated Sir Anerood Jugnauth.
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