New council to replace NPS in proposed law reforms

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta receives the BBI report from the taskforce vice chair Adams Oloo at Kisii State Lodge, yesterday. Looking on is former PM Raila Odinga. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) will be disbanded and replaced with Kenya Police Council, chaired by the Interior CS, to oversee policy and command functions of the service.

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report proposes an amendment to the Constitution which abolishes the NPSC by repealing Article 246 of the Constitution and replacing it with the KPC.

The members of the council will include the Inspector General, two senior members of the National Police Service units appointed by the President and PS Interior.

The council will be responsible for the overall policy, control and supervision of the National Police Service.

The police oversight body, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), is also to be replaced by the Independent Policing Oversight Commission (IPOC).

According to the report, the members of the board of the IPOA shall become members of the  Independent  Policing  Oversight  Commission  for  their unexpired terms but each shall retain the terms of service as at the commencement date.

Monitor functions

The IPOC will monitor and report on adherence to the objects and functions of the service and also hold members of the  Service accountable  to  the  public  in  the  performance  of  their functions.

“The Independent Policing Oversight Commission shall be the successor to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority established under the Independent Policing Oversight Authority Act, 2011,” the report states.

The Inspector General of Police has been given additional responsibilities by amending Article 245(2)(b) and additional functions of determining transfers in the Service, recommending promotions and exercising disciplinary control through suspension of officers in the Service.

Such functions are currently performed by the NPSC. Article 248(2)(j) that created the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) has been deleted and replaced by the IPOC.

The members of the NPSC will continue to hold office for their unexpired term,  unless  otherwise  removed in accordance with the Constitution, according to the BBI report

The Commission is created by amending Article 246 of the Constitution and introducing a new Article 246(A)

In the same Article, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is included as one of the independent offices together with the Auditor-General and Controller of Budget.

The report also proposes that career advancement in the police service will be determined by how effectively they control crime in their respective areas and citizen perceptions.

The deployment of police officers should also be aligned to their talents and skills. 

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