The rule of three is a fundamental principle that is enshrined in Article 61.1 of the Public Administration Act. This rule states that the appointing authority can select any of the three highest-scoring candidates who are willing to accept the appointment. This concept was created in response to a situation where a less experienced, less academically qualified, lower scoring, and fewer connected candidate was chosen over a more qualified one. In contrast, the “rule of one” is mandatory in cases involving the reinstatement of members from a preferred list. For instance, if no one achieved a score of 100 on a civil service exam, one person got a 95, no one got a 90, two people got an 85, and about a dozen people got an 80, then the interviewer would be obligated to hire the fifth person on the list under the “rule of one”.In certain situations, Section 60.1 of the Public Service Act allows for two lists that meet certain criteria to be combined into a “mandatory list”.
This list must contain at least three qualified candidates who are willing to accept the position. In one particular case, a candidate who was number one on their list never received any calls or responses from the public administration after several attempts to contact them. The rule of three is an essential concept to comprehend when it comes to civil service exams and appointments. It guarantees that eligible applicants are given an opportunity to be appointed for positions they are qualified for, even if they have less experience or fewer contacts than other candidates.