30th May, 2016
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality today signed the Commencement Order for section 17 of the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015.
The effect of the Order is to enable the Policing Authority to assume, with effect from 31 May 2016, its statutory functions in relation to the civilian staff of An Garda Síochána.
The Tánaiste said, “This Order enables the Authority to assume important functions in relation to the civilian staff in An Garda Síochána.
“Previously the Garda Commissioner, subject to approval from the Minister for Justice and Equality and the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, appointed professional, administrative and specialist civilian staff within An Garda Síochána.
“The effect of this Commencement Order is that the approval of the Authority will now be required in relation to such appointments.
“The Authority will be responsible for appointing civilian staff of grades that are equivalent to or above that of chief superintendent in An Garda Síochána.
“There are over 2,000 full-time-equivalent civilian staff in An Garda Síochána making up approximately 14% of the overall Garda workforce. Civilians hold a wide range of positions at all levels. They provide vital services in areas such as scene-of-crime support, IT and telecommunications, research and analysis, accommodation and fleet management, finance and procurement, internal audit, human resources, training and development, and medical services.
“Vital operational support areas such as the Garda Central Vetting Unit, the Garda Information Services Centre, and the Fixed Charge Processing Office are, by and large, staffed by civilians.
“I am committed to increasing civilianisation in An Garda Síochána to free up more Gardaí to get out from behind desks and to focus on frontline policing. This, along with an accelerated regiment programme to bring the number of Gardaí up to 15,000 will significantly increase the strength and effectiveness of the Force.”
Notes for Editors
Section 19 of the Garda Síochána Acts 2005 to 2015 enables the Garda Commissioner, subject to the approval of the Minister for Justice and Equality and with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to appoint professional, administrative and specialist civilian staff within An Garda Síochána.
The effect of the Commencement Order signed by the Tánaiste is that the approval of the Authority, rather than the Minister for Justice and Equality, will now be required in relation to such appointments.
The Authority will also be responsible for appointing civilian staff of grades that are equivalent to or above that of chief superintendent in An Garda Síochána.
The Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 makes provision for the Policing Authority to appoint persons to the senior ranks of An Garda Síochána. The relevant provision will be commenced once amendments to the regulations governing promotions within An Garda Síochána have been completed.
The main regulations concerned are the Garda Síochána (Promotion) Regulations 2006. In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner and the Policing Authority must be consulted on any proposed changes to regulations. In addition, the Garda representative bodies must be consulted in accordance with the Garda Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme.
Work on the preparation of the proposed changes is being expedited in the Department with a view to the appointment function being transferred as quickly as possible. It is hoped that this work will be completed in July. The Authority will then be in a position to run competitions with a view to making further appointments to these ranks.