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PSC opposes Bill seeking to give Attorney General more powers

National
 PSC team led by chairperson Amb Anthony Muchiri at Weston Hotel on Tuesday, December 5 while appearing before JLAC.[Photo PSC.

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The Public Service Commission (PSC) is challenging a proposed Office of the Attorney General Act amendment, requiring him to appoint and discharge officers.

While appearing before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Committee (JLAC) on Tuesday, December 5, PSC Chairperson Anthony Muchiri said the amendments were unconstitutional as the office of the AG is not an independent entity.

“The Constitutional functions of the Attorney General do not operate in isolation of or independently from the Executive arm of Government. Therefore, the office cannot be delinked from the jurisdiction of the Commission and legal framework that regulates the public service and falls within the mandate of the Commission” said Muchiri.

The Bill seeks to amend sections 13, 21, and 22 of the Office of the Attorney General Act.

If passed, the AG will also be able to appoint a Deputy Solicitor General and state counsels as well as decide the terms of service of the officers in consultation with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

The Memorandum of Reason provided stated; "The Bill proposes to amend the Office of the Attorney General Act. 2012 to remove inconsistencies in the operational framework of the Office of the Attorney General in line with Ankle 156 of the Constitution that establishes the office of the Attorney General as an independent office."

However, the PSC argued that it needs to be clarified how the involvement of the Commission in the recruitment, appointment, or promotion of Deputy Solicitors General and States Counsel presents inconsistencies in the operational framework of the office of the Attorney General. 

Further, the Commission said that the Memorandum provided is misleading and should not be used as a basis for amendment of the Office of the Attorney General Act.

JLAC Chairperson George Murugara said the committee will consider all views presented before it and make appropriate proposals to the National Assembly.

“I want to assure you that all views received will be considered in the writing of the final report to be presented to the National Assembly”, he said.

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