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Afghanistan

Reform Promotion System for Police Officers (AF0025)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Afghanistan Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Interior

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, revelant CSOs

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Afghanistan Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
Law on personal affairs of officers, lieutenants and sergeants was processed in such a way, that CSOs scrutiny in appointments and promotions is not defined. Therefore, inexistence of policy on appointments and promotions of officers and sergeants and lack of CSOs’ monitoring cause interferences of vigorous people in certain situations. This leads to lack of transparency andaccountability in the appointments and promotions of officers and sergeants.

What is the commitment?
This policy is prepared in participation with CSOs to ensure transparency and merit-based appointments and promotions of officers and sergeants.

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem?
This commitment can resolve problem in appointments and promotions of officers and sergeants in MoI on the basis of transparent system and meritocracy. Moreover, it prevents influences of vigorous people and personal references in the appointments and promotions of officers, lieutenants and sergeants.

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
Implementation of this commitment prevents imposition of officers and sergeants appointments. Rather, it promotes transparency, accountability and civic participation in the appointments process of officers and sergeants in MoI. Additional information
Law on personal affairs of officers, lieutenants and sergeants National strategy on combat against administrative corruption

IRM Midterm Status Summary

12. Preparing Transparent and Justly Appointments and Promotions Policy for Officers and Sergeants through Civil Society Organizations Monitoring

This policy is prepared in participation with CSOs to ensure transparency and merit-based appointments and promotions of officers and sergeants.

Main Objective

This commitment can resolve problem in appointments and promotions of officers and sergeants in MOI on the basis of transparent system and meritocracy. Moreover, it prevents influences of vigorous people and personal references in the appointments and promotions of officers, lieutenants, and sergeants.

Milestones

  • Form a joint committee of Ministry of Interior and CSOs to prepare the appointments and promotions policy for officers and sergeants thru civil society organizations monitoring.
  • Draft the policy layout by the committee.
  • Publicize the first draft of policy on MOI website for public review.
  • Convene two consultative meetings in participation with government officials, CSOs, and international organizations to incorporate their views into draft policy.
  • Finalize the policy by the committee and approval by the MOI.
  • Prepare and finalize an action plan to facilitate the implementation of policy by the committee.
  • Implement and execute the policy with continuous monitoring of CSOs.

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Afghanistan’s action plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Afghanistan_Action-Plan_2019-2021_EN.pdf.

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Civic Participation

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment Analysis

This commitment aims to establish a transparent and fair process for the appointment and promotion of officers and sergeants by creating a system for civil society monitoring. In the status quo, this process is not clearly defined in existing regulations. The Ministry of Interior leads the implementation of this commitment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and civil society organizations.

During the co-creation process, civil society proposed the idea for this commitment, [151] building on the first action plan’s commitment on developing a public-police partnership council. [152] Independent reports have also shown a negative public perception of the process of appointment and promotion within the Ministry of Interior. [153] One study, which focused on Kabul City Police, found that in the public perception, police appointment and promotion often rely on factors such as clientelism, nepotism, political connections, and even bribes. [154] This indicates a lack of trust in the process among citizens, primarily due to a lack of transparency and accountability.

According to a mandate of the Law on Personal Affairs of Officers, Lieutenants, and Sergeants, [155] a committee that reviews an applicant’s resumé leads the recruitment process. The law outlines the details for the recruitment and replacement of officers, lieutenants, and sergeants. Those stipulations consider, among other factors, age, political affiliation, citizenship, physical and psychological conditions, and criminal record. [156] Promotion is also regulated and based on qualities such as bravery and honesty. [157]

However, there are no clear monitoring or enforcement mechanisms in the law to ensure that these criteria are actually applied in the process of appointing and promoting officers, lieutenants, and sergeants. There are also no tests and public consultation mechanisms included at any stage of this process. [158] The law also offers no clear accountability mechanism to ensure that the appointment and promotion of police officers conform to certain standards. [159]

At present, the common practice is to prioritize appointment solely on an applicant’s years of experience. [160] After completing resumé screening, the selection committee will then submit a list of candidates for the approval of a deputy or the minister of interior. [161] This largely discretionary protocol leaves the process vulnerable to irregularities and corruption. Through this commitment, however, the government aims to develop a meritocratic mechanism for the appointment and promotion of officers and sergeants, with civil society monitoring.

To make changes to this process, the stakeholders of this commitment would need to engage not only the Ministry of Interior, but also the Ministry of Defense and other relevant public institutions. This is because the Law on Personal Affairs of Officers, Lieutenants, and Sergeants covers the appointment and promotion of officials across different military-oriented institutions. Given the complexity and constraints of amending the law and applying it across institutions, the commitment stakeholders agreed that this commitment would focus on developing a policy that specifically applies to the Ministry of Interior’s structure only. [162]

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation, as it provides an entry point for civil society to gain more influence and gradually increase its role in monitoring the recruitment and promotion process within the Ministry of Interior.

If fully implemented as written, this commitment is expected to result in a minor potential impact on the quality of police service administration in Afghanistan. The commitment marks a positive step toward more transparent and inclusive appointments and promotions of police officers and sergeants.

The decision to focus on developing a policy specifically for the Ministry of Interior could only be understood as a strategic choice. However, a civil society representative closely involved in the development of this commitment noted that the appointment of provincial police chiefs was their biggest concern. [163] While the law does specify a set of criteria for this position, civil society notes that the lack of transparency and public involvement in the process make it difficult to guarantee that the criteria are met properly, especially with the president unilaterally appointing provincial police chiefs. [164] However, the policy, or process, that will be developed by the Ministry of Interior and civil society stakeholders through this commitment will not apply to the appointment of high-ranking positions, including provincial police chiefs. [165]

Different procedures under this policy for low and high ranking officials indicates the difficulty to make the entire process transparent and accountable. [166] In addition, while the commitment entails civil society input in the development of the policy, the scope of the final policy is unclear, and there is a lack of certainty in how uniformly it will be implemented.

Going forward, the government could consider expanding the scope of this commitment, in consultation with civil society, to cover all ranks of officers and sergeants. The Ministry of Interior could, for example, commit to allowing civil society to monitor the appointment and promotion of police officers and sergeants regardless of rank. Without comprehensive coverage, it would be difficult to establish a sustainable practice that is transparent and accountable. In the long run, the government could also consider replicating the model of civil society monitoring in the general policy of human resource management, to achieve similar transparency and accountability in other sectors.

[151] Mohammad Baqir Melatyar (Ministry of Interior of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan), interview by IRM researcher, 3 June 2020.
[152] Open Government Partnership, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Afghanistan Design Report 2017–2019, 2019, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Afghanistan_Design_Report_2017-2019_EN.pdf, p. 28–30.
[153] Integrity Watch Afghanistan, Senior Appointments and Corruption within the Afghan MOI: Practices and Perceptions, 2015, https://iwaweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/moi_senior_appointments_and_corruption_english.pdf.
[154] Integrity Watch Afghanistan, Senior Appointments and Corruption within Kabul City Police: Practices and Perceptions, 2015, https://iwaweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Kabul-Police-Report-English.pdf, p. 9.
[155] Law on Personal Affairs of Officers, Lieutenants, and Sergeants,” Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, accessed July 2020, http://law.acku.edu.af/fa/download/file/fa/22886/75051.
[156] Ibid.
[157] Ibid.
[158] Melatyar interview.
[159] Law on Personal Affairs of Police Officers, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, accessed July 2020, http://law.acku.edu.af/fa/download/file/fa/16221/78986.
[160] Ibid.
[161] Ibid.
[162] Ibid.
[163] Integrity Watch Afghanistan, interview by IRM researcher, 7 June 2020.; Updated to reflect Information provided by Integrity Watch Afghanistan during the IRM prepublication review phase. 2 November 2020.
[164] Ibid.
[165] Ibid.
[166] Ibid.

Commitments

  1. Revise Law on Recruitment and Authority of Attorneys General

    AF0014, 2019, Access to Justice

  2. Revise Law on Local Government

    AF0015, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  3. Establish Anti-Corruption Commission

    AF0016, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  4. Draft Beneficial Ownership Legislation

    AF0017, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  5. Portal for Processing Legislative Documents

    AF0018, 2019, Capacity Building

  6. CSO Monitoring of Education

    AF0019, 2019, E-Government

  7. Develop Electronic Complaint System for Local Government

    AF0020, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Reform and Strengthen Education Data

    AF0021, 2019, Access to Information

  9. Participation in Local Budgeting

    AF0022, 2019, Fiscal Openness

  10. Electronic Revenue Collection System

    AF0023, 2019, Capacity Building

  11. Co-Create University Curriculum

    AF0024, 2019, Education

  12. Reform Promotion System for Police Officers

    AF0025, 2019, E-Government

  13. Monitoring Framework for Medicine Wholesalers

    AF0026, 2019, E-Government

  14. Monitoring of Private and Public Health Centers

    AF0027, 2019, E-Government

  15. Participation in National Budget

    AF0028, 2019, Fiscal Openness

  16. Open Justice for Anti-Corruption

    AF0029, 2019, Access to Justice

  17. Women's Empowerment Plan

    AF0030, 2019, Gender

  18. Establishment of Women Grand Council

    AF0031, 2019, Gender

  19. Law on Processing, Publishing and Enforcing Legislative Documents

    AF0002, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  20. Courts to Address Violence Against Women

    AF0003, 2017, Access to Justice

  21. Public-Police Partnership Councils

    AF0004, 2017, Capacity Building

  22. Registering Assets of Government Officials

    AF0005, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  23. Scheme for Establishing Health Service Accreditation Entity

    AF0006, 2017, Capacity Building

  24. Urban Improvement National Policy

    AF0007, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport

  25. Protection Policy for Women Under Conflict and Emergency Situations

    AF0008, 2017, Fiscal Openness

  26. Civil Society Monitoring Plan for Education and Higher Education

    AF0009, 2017, Education

  27. Plan for the Establishment of a Joint Committee Overseeing the Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy

    AF0010, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  28. Strengthen the Information Mechanism in 60 Governmental Agencies

    AF0011, 2017, Access to Information

  29. Starred commitment Implementing Open Contracting

    AF0012, 2017, Access to Information

  30. Starred commitment Public Participation in Road Network Projects

    AF0013, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport

  31. Starred commitment Mechanism of Public Partnership in Inspection Process

    AF0001, 2017, Anti-Corruption

Open Government Partnership