The labour court has stopped the government from holding interviews for the ongoing recruitment for the Data Commissioner.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa put on hold the interviews, which had started July 7,  following an application by a lawyer Adrian Kamotho. Mr Kamotho claimed the recruitment process was irregular for breaching timeliness and mandatory procedures. The order to suspend the interviews was directed to the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Attorney-General.

The judge also allowed the Mr Kamotho to file a judicial review application seeking to nullify list of applicants and shortlisted candidates for the position of Data Commissioner. In the petition certified urgent by the court, the lawyer says the recruitment process was defective and tainted with illegality.

The lawyer cited Section 6 (3) of the Data Protection Act, 2019 which imposes a mandatory duty upon the PSC to conclude its statutory role within 21 days.

“PSC has no power whatsoever to enlarge statutory timelines nor to disregard the same hence its current actions are extremely arbitrary and anarchical,” said Mr Kamotho.

The declaration of vacancy for the position of Data Commissioner was published on March 25, this year by the PSC and stipulated April 14 as the last day of tendering applications for those interested in the position. The list of applicants was published on June 25.

Justice Wasilwa directed Mr Kamotho to serve the PSC and the Attorney General with the court papers while hearing of the case was fixed to start on July 14.

The Data Protection Law was signed on 8th November 2019, which established the office of the Data Commissioner. The office is responsible for the protection of personal data, by both public and private entities.