Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 115 - Policing authority administration [49695/17] [drug testing].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 115 - Policing authority administration [49695/17] [drug testing]. (23 Nov 2017)

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115. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that the Policing Authority has the necessary staffing resources and expertise in place to fully carry out its role, in view of the fact that the authority spent €139,920 on an outside agency to conduct a report (details supplied) regarding mandatory intoxicant testing and the incorrect issuing of summonses by An Garda Síochána. [49695/17]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan):  As the Deputy is aware, the statutory basis for the Policing Authority is the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015. The Policing Authority is an independent statutory agency and within the context of this independence, the Chief Executive and senior management of the Authority manage and control its staff, administration and business.  The Policing Authority has had the support of both my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in obtaining sanction for the required staffing resources and a team of appropriately skilled and experienced staff has been put in place over the past 18 months. The Policing Authority has sanction and budget for 39 staff of which 28 staff are currently in place and I understand it is anticipated that remaining posts will be filled during the first half of 2018. 


I would draw the attention of the Deputy to the provisions of section 62L of the Act, which entitles the Policing Authority, with the consent of the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to enter into contracts with persons, or appoint consultants or advisers, as it considers necessary to assist in the performance of its functions.


In the case of the project undertaken to review the issues arising in the recording of Mandatory Alcohol Tests and Fixed Charge Notice, the Policing Authority took the view that the appropriate approach was to engage an external service provider to undertake the project.  Even when the full staffing complement is in place, it is recognised that circumstances will arise where due to time pressures or the need for a particular expertise or specialism, the most efficient and cost-effective approach will be to retain the services of external service providers.

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