Telecomms czar may have to cool heels till December

The interview process is finished, but the Telecommunications Bill - which legislates into existence the job of telecomms commissioner - is unlikely to be passed for at least another few weeks and possibly not until December.

The interview process is finished, but the Telecommunications Bill — which legislates into existence the job of telecomms commissioner — is unlikely to be passed for at least another few weeks and possibly not until December.

So where does that leave the process of appointing the telecomms czar?

A shortlist of candidates is before communications minister Paul Swain, says his press secretary, Kerry Lamont.

Recruitment agency Bell McCaw Bampfylde carried out initial searches for suitable candidates and a panel of government and industry officials then cut down the numbers, Lamont says.

The Telecommunications Bill will hopefully come back to parliament for its second reading before the end of the present parliamentary session, which ends October 18, she says.

The next step after that is for the clause-by-clause reading in parliament, when parliament becomes the committee of the whole house. “The timing depends on what other legislation comes before the house, but it should be before the end of the year.”

The telecommunications commissioner can’t be formally appointed until the bill is passed, so an official announcement may still be a couple of months away.

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