11 November 2016
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, TD today welcomed the publication of the Policing Authority Report on An Garda Síochána’s Protected Disclosures Policy.
Following the report of the O’Higgins Commission of Inquiry the Tánaiste requested the Policing Authority to conduct a review of the policy and procedures in place in An Garda Síochána to deal with protected disclosures.
The Policing Authority and the Department of Justice and Equality have published the report this afternoon.
The Tánaiste said:
“An Garda Síochána can only benefit from taking seriously allegations of wrongdoing by its own members, valuing them and supporting those who bring these matters to light.
“I have previously said that while I believed there had been clear progress in this regard, independent verification of that progress, and identification of further action that may be required, is in the public interest.
“That is why I used the powers available to me under the legislation establishing the Policing Authority to ask the Authority to conduct a detailed examination of the procedures and policies around whistleblowing in An Garda Síochána and to prepare a report on the matter, including any recommendations necessary to ensure those arrangements operate to best practice.
“It is clear from this report that there has been considerable interaction between the Authority and the Garda Síochána in relation to this exercise and that many of the recommendations have already been accepted, with a follow-up process being put in place to ensure that any outstanding issues are addressed.
“Today’s report is independent oversight in action and I want to put on record my appreciation of the work done by the Policing Authority in relation to the Garda Síochána Protected Disclosures Policy.
“But policy is only part of the approach to whistleblowing. Changes to culture and attitudes, and acceptance of those changes are also crucial. That is how trust in An Garda Síochána will be maintained and safeguarded. Therefore I am pleased the Authority has now asked the Garda Síochána to review the operation of the Policy in light of this report and I look forward to the outcome of that process.”
The report is being published on www.justice.ie