WATCH: OPP Commissioner job posting changed days after going up

Ontario's community safety minister says the qualification requirements for the provincial police force's top job were changed partway through the hiring process to broaden the pool of applicants for the post.

Sylvia Jones says a hiring firm made that decision before the appointment of Ronald Taverner as the next commissioner for the Ontario Provincial Police.

Critics of Taverner's appointment have noted that the superintendent with the Toronto police force is a personal friend of Premier Doug Ford.

A report from online news website iPolitics says the original commissioner job posting required candidates to have a rank of deputy police chief or higher, or assistant commissioner or higher, in a major police service, a threshold Taverner did not meet.

Jones says Taverner, 72, is a qualified candidate who has decades of experience in policing.

But NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says it's shocking that the hiring process was changed and called for an independent investigation into Taverner's appointment.

A government watch group is now calling for the Integrity Commisioner to probe the appointment.

Democracy Watch, is concerned the Premier may have influenced the hiring.

Co-Founder of the group, Duff Conacher says in a release "The appointment raises questions about whether Premier Ford participated in or tried to influence: the choice or decisions of the executive search firm that searched for candidates for the position; the choice or decisions of civil servants who were on the selection committee that reviewed candidates, or; the Cabinet’s decision to approve Mr. Taverner as Commissioner."