Published Thursday, 30 January 2014
Matt Baggott is set to step down from the role later this year. (© Pacemaker)
A row over choosing the successor to Matt Baggott began after Justice Minister David Ford said he wants to remove the mandatory requirement for a new chief to have served at Assistant Chief Constable rank for a minimum of two years in another police service.
First and deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said any changes to the criteria need to be brought before the Executive for consideration.
The issue was discussed by the Executive on Thursday and it was decided that Alliance minister Mr Ford will consult over the next two weeks on any changes to the appointment process, before a final decision is made by the Executive at its next meeting.
A statement from the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers said: "The executive agreed that the justice minister takes forward the necessary procedural steps and consultations to allow a final decision to be taken in timing and substance by the Executive."
David Ford said: "I went to the Executive today to set out the facts - about my powers, about the process that I have undertaken, and about the reasons for my decision.
"The reality is that I have not interfered in the role of the Policing Board - I have enhanced it. I have consulted deeper and wider than I was required to do. I have tackled an issue of potential inequality, on the advice of the Equality Commission.
"The Executive must ensure that it does not allow politics to be dragged into the recruitment of a Chief Constable, nor the role of a Justice Minister."
Last week, outgoing Chief Constable Matt Baggott announced he would not be renewing his contract which expires in September. Mr Baggott, 55, spent the first 20 years of his service in the Metropolitan Police and took up the head role within the PSNI in 2009.
© UTV News