A House bill 11-120-12S, introduced last month, proposed to make hiring the Director of the Bureau of Public Safety subject to the Public Service recruitment and hiring procedures.  If passed, this bill would change the current law and remove the President’s authority to hire the Director of Public Safety. 

Since hiring the Bureau of Public Safety Director Cary Levitre in March of this year, the Bureau of Public Safety has had multiple acting directors.  At the of July, when Levitre left the country for medical treatment, the Bureau had four acting directors.  The first two, Ikesakes and Ngiratrang, were deemed ineligible due to BPS regulations, and Chief Favian Ngiramengior served a month and was replaced by acting chief Rickley Antonio after he left for a meeting overseas.

In addition to a seemingly high turnover of acting directors of BPS, Director Levitre’s “prolonged” leave of absence is questioned by members of the House of Delegates during their deliberation of the proposed bill.

At the press conference on August 30th, Whipps defended the current process, saying that it follows the law.  He said he appointed Levitre after interviewing him with Vice President Uduch Sengebau-Senior and what has been happening has been done in accordance with the law.

Furthermore, he supported the changing of acting directors.  “The opportunity that different people become acting directors is a very good thing,” said Whipps.  He said the opportunity gives the acting directors opportunities to grow and to see gaps in the management.

However, the House bill seeks to place the hiring under the Public Service System “to meet all the requirements of directorship” and “removes inconsistency in the appointment of acting directors.”  The bill’s main introducer, Delegate Sinsak raised concern over the number of acting directors appointed within the short time.

The bill passed the first reading and was submitted to the House Committee for further reporting.

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