The Public Service commission has shortlisted 12 candidates to fill the Data Commissioner’s post with the interviews set to be held on September 22.
The Data Commissioner will be responsible for the enforcement of the Data Protection Act with duties such as exercising oversight on data processing operations, promoting self-regulation among data controllers, promoting international cooperation in data protection related issues and conducting research on data processing development.
Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru revealed in June that the position would be filled by July. However, the PSC suspended plans to fill the position after Lawyer Adrian Kamotho challenged the process at the Employment and Labour Court citing PSC’s failure to disclose the time and origin of the notification which led to the declaration of the vacancy.
Kamotho argued that the actions contravened national values and principles of good governance. He added that the state was required to be transparent and publicize all crucial information that could affect the state. The PSC signed an agreement with the lawyer to start the recruitment process afresh in accordance with the law.
The shortlisted candidates will be expected to set the standards regarding the handling, storage and sharing of personal and corporate data.
Among the candidates are former Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) CEO Rose Mambo and IEBC director of voter registration and ICT Authority deputy director Thomas Odhiambo. Others include University of Nairobi Computer Science lecturer Brian Gichana, lawyer Anthony Akelo, Universal Services Advisory Council member Dr Kennedy Okong’o, and a former National Police Commission member Murshid Mohamed. National Taskforce on Data Protection member John Walubengo and Dr Tobias Mbithi have also been shortlisted.
Notably missing from the list is interim Communications Authority Director General, Mercy Wanjau who was in the earlier shortlist in June.
The qualifications sent out as requirements for the position include a degree in Data Science/Law/IT or any related field, a Masters Degree, knowledge and relevant experience of not less than 10 years and meet the requirements of chapter six of the constitution which is about leadership and integrity.
“The Data Commissioner shall be appointed for a single term of six (6) years and shall not be eligible for a re-appointment,” the PSC said in a public notice inviting suitable candidates for the job.