Public Service Commission (PSC) has cancelled an earlier recruitment of Data Commissioner. According to Business Daily, this decision was reached after signing an out-of-court deal with a city lawyer who had challenged the hiring process.

In the consent filed before Employment and Labour Relations Court, PSC and lawyer Adrian Kamotho agreed that the commission starts the process afresh ‘in accordance with the law.

The PSC had shortlisted 10 candidates, who were to appear for interviews early this month. But Lawyer Adrian Mr Kamotho obtained orders from Justice Hellen Wasilwa to put on hold, the interviews, arguing that it was irregular for breaching timeliness and mandatory procedures. He had also managed to file a judicial review application, seeking to nullify the list of applications and shortlisted candidates.

He said PSC did not reveal the origin and time of notification giving rise to the declaration of the vacancy. He further claimed the methodology and system used to shortlist the applicants is not known in law and contravenes the rules of natural justice.

According to Mr Kamotho, the failure to disclose the origin is contrary to the national values and principles of good governance and transparency, which require the state to publish and publicize any important information affecting the state. He claims to have written to the PSC seeking information on the issue but he said the commission “casually” disregarded his queries, “depicting an absolute lack of legal basis to proceed with the recruitment as purported”.

“The Respondent has refused to avail the notification of vacancy prescribed under section 6 (1) of the Data Protection Act, that was relied upon to declare the vacancy for the position. Therefore, the recruitment process remains mysterious and contrary to the fundamental tenets of transparency and openness in public affairs,” he said.

The PSC will now be required to start the process afresh while adhering to the timelines stipulated in the Data Protection Law.