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PSC shortlists 12 candidates for data commissioner post

CDSC
Former Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) chief executive Rose Mambo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The former Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) chief executive Rose Mambo is among the 12 candidates shortlisted for the data commissioner’s post.

The shortlist for the new office is the second one after the Public Service Commission (PSC) was forced to cancel an earlier recruitment in July after signing an out-of-court deal with a city lawyer who had challenged the hiring process.

The commissioner will look at data privacy and protection matters and will take office nearly a year after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Data Protection Act on November 8, 2019.

Ms Mambo, who left the State-run shares agency last October after 12 years as CEO, will appear before the PSC interview panel on September 22 for her hour-long interview.

Apart Ms Mambo, other candidates eyeing the new seat expected to set new standards on how personal and company information is handled, stored and shared are IEBC director of voter registration and ICT Authority deputy director Thomas Odhiambo.

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Others are 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.

Dr Tobias Mbithi, whose PhD in Information Technology was on Neural Networks in predicting quality metrics for component-based software systems is also slated for an interview as well as the National Taskforce on Data Protection member John Walubengo, among other candidates.

“The candidates should be at the venue at least 15 minutes before the starting time,” said PSC in a public notice on Tuesday.

Cancelled

Most of the candidates had also been in the earlier shortlist. But, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) interim director general Mercy Wanjau, who had been shortlisted in the cancelled recruitment, is missing.

The PSC had initially shortlisted 10 candidates.

But in a consent filed before Employment and Labour Relations court in late July, PSC and lawyer Adrian Kamotho agreed that the commission starts the recruitment process afresh ‘in accordance with the law’.

Mr Kamotho had obtained orders stopping the process, arguing that PSC's failure to disclose the origin and time of notification giving rise to the declaration of the vacancy is contrary to the national values and principles of good governance and transparency, which require the state to publish and publicise any important information affecting the State.

The Office of the Data Commissioner is tasked with maintaining the register of data controllers and data processors, exercising oversight over data processing operations and has investigatory powers with respect to any alleged breach of the provisions of the Data Protection Act.

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