Jordanian King Abdullah II took political and official circles by surprise on Monday by ordering the immediate merger of the Civil Defense Directorate and the General Directorate of the Gendarmerie into the Public Security Directorate.
The decision came in a letter addressed by King Abdullah to the government of Dr. Omar Razzaz.
“The cabinet should take the necessary legislative and administrative measures for the merger in a manner that ensures enhanced security coordination, improves the quality of services provided to the public and mitigates the burden on the general budget,” the letter said.
He also issued directives to appoint a director that oversees the merger successfully and ensures it proceeds smoothly and effectively, to make the new directorate a successful example of merging public institutions.
He expressed pride in the personnel of the three agencies, commending their service and sacrifice for the nation over the decades.
King Abdullah said he has confidence that, after the merger is complete, security, civil defense and gendarmerie personnel will continue to work honorably to undertake their duties in upholding the rule of law, safeguarding security and providing quality services to the public.
The King’s decision is considered an important step in rationalizing public expenditure at a time when the government recently announced that deficit in the 2020 budget is estimated to reach around JD1.3 billion after grants, constituting 3.9 per cent of GDP.
In 2008, King Abdullah II issued his royal decree to form a General Directorate of Gendarmerie linked with the Ministry of Interior Affairs for the sake of creating an independent specialized force for dealing with exceptional security conditions and to maintain security and order in line with respected laws and human rights.
Head of parliament’s legal committee, MP Abdul Monem Odat, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that the royal decree on the merger requires necessary measures in terms of amending laws and legislations related to these institutions.