Promotions and confirmations in the Attorney General’s Department

The Attorney General’s Department comprises of an approved cadre of Assistant State Counsel, State Counsel, Senior State Counsel, Deputy Solicitor General, Senior Deputy Solicitor General, Additional Solicitor General, Senior Additional Solicitor General and Solicitor General and the State Attorneys Division comprising of a Senior State Attorney, State Attorneys, Senior Assistant State Attorneys, Assistant State Attorneys and Junior Assistant State Attorneys.  

Given the nature of the work and the exponential increase in the work at the Attorney General’s Department and the need to meet the ever increasing demand for representation by Senior Officers before diverse local and international fora including Courts in the Country, it was necessary that the cadre of the Supervisory grades in the Department be increased expeditiously, in addition to ensure that the work of junior officers spread across the country be subject to a qualitative supervision.   

Accordingly, a request was made to the Department of Management Services through the Ministry of Justice to increase the cadre of ASGs, DSGs and State Attorneys.  Pursuant to approval being granted by the Ministry of Justice and Department of Management Services of the Finance Ministry, the ASG cadre was increased by 5, DSG cadre by 9 and State Attorney Cadre by 2.  In this context, it must be emphasized that cadre increase is not a matter within the purview of the Public Service Commission.  

The approved cadre for DSG was originally 28.  However, in 2014, 9 DSG posts were suppressed from the existing cadre to create new 9 posts of SDSG.  As 9 posts in the DSG cadre had been suppressed, steps were taken to reinstate the said 9 posts.  Accordingly, the DSG cadre was to revert to the original number of 28.  This number of 9 new posts was therefore designed to match the 9 posts already created and suppressed and not for any collateral purpose.  The resulting cadre increase also ensured that there was 1:2 ratio between the ASG and DSG cadre which now stands as 14 and 28 respectively.  

In view of the said increase in the DSG cadre and to ensure that the vacancies in the said DSG cadre was filled based on seniority and after a proper assessment of the suitability of officers, a request was made by the Attorney General’s Department to amend the SOR applicable for promotion from SSC to DSG, to provide for an assessment of each officer to be promoted as a DSG to be subject to a written assessment by five Senior Officers who had directly supervised such officer and based on such assessment for the Attorney General to consider such assessments and make recommendations to the PSC subject to the absence of disciplinary action against such officer.  This scheme ensured a stringent assessment by five Senior Officers directly supervising each officer, prior to promotion as a DSG subject to the availability of cadre vacancies.  Thus, the decision to request for an amendment to the SOR is entirely consistent with the service needs as well as the welfare of the officers.  

It may also be noted that Confirmation of officers is carried out on a routine basis and is dependent upon the officers concerned satisfying the required conditions as well as submitting the relevant documentation, such as medical tests etc.  While all such officers have been periodically reminded to perfect such documentation, the files of all officers who have satisfied the conditions and submitted the relevant documentation were forwarded expeditiously to the PSC through the Justice Ministry.  No officers were treated preferentially or unfairly.  

This Department therefore rejects any unfair and unsubstantiated aspersions cast on this Department or any of its Officers.  This Department emphasizes that all promotions and confirmations are done in accordance with the procedure established by law.