Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Questions (469)

Seymour Crawford

Question:

545 Deputy Seymour Crawford asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of civilians employed by the Garda in 1997; the number employed at present; the number that could be utilised to allow gardaí to be better used on the beat; when this number of personnel will be reached; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23993/07]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the information requested in relation to the number of civilians employed by the Garda Síochána in 1997 is not readily available and can only be obtained by the disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources relative to the information sought.

The number of full time and part time civilian staff assigned to the Garda Síochána as at the 12 October 2007 was 2,242. Approximately 250 Clerical Officers have been recruited and assigned positions within An Garda Síochána since the 1 January 2007. These have been allocated to the Dublin Metropolitan Region, Garda Headquarters and Specialised Units.

The Government has authorised the Garda Commissioner to recruit a further 350 civilians to release trained members of the Force for front-line duty. This recruitment campaign is well under way and interviews are currently being held by the Public Appointments Service to recruit these Clerical Officers. These persons will be allocated to Divisions outside the Dublin Metropolitan Region.

The civilianisation of middle and senior positions in the Garda Síochána has commenced. Currently, there is a Chief Administrative Officer, Director of Finance, Head of Internal Audit, HR Manager, Housing Officer, Transport Manager and a civilian of Principal Officer grade in the Information Technology section. A Civilian Director of Communications will take up her post this month. Recruitment for the following positions will start in the coming weeks: — Director of Information and Communications Technology, Director of Change Management, Head of Legal Affairs and Executive Director of Human Resources. This will be in addition to the recruitment of a number of civilian crime analysts.

A dedicated Human Resource Directorate has been established in the Garda Síochána to serve the needs of the civilian, administrative, professional, technical and industrial staff in the Garda Síochána and to promote an extensive programme of civilianisation.

Expansion in civilian support within An Garda Síochána also includes the following developments. The Garda Information Service Centre (GISC) in Castlebar is now fully operational. It has a staffing complement of 170 personnel. An additional 17 civilian staff will commence employment by the end of this month. An additional 12 Civil Service personnel commenced work at the Garda Central Vetting Unit in Thurles in September 2007, bringing the total personnel strength up to 50. An additional 26 personnel will be appointed in the coming weeks. There is recruitment under way for 12 Administrative Officer posts. Some 31 new civilian posts in the Garda Telecommunications area are currently being filled.

Sanction has been granted for the creation of 76 supervisory/management posts at Staff Officer, Executive Officer and Higher Executive Officer level to be located around the country on a Regional and Divisional basis. Promotion competitions for these posts are currently under way. Approval has been received for the appointment of a new Head of Procurement and a Multimedia Technician to work in the Garda Press and Public Relations Office and the Public Appointment Service will shortly be advertising these posts.

I am assured by the Commissioner that the Garda Síochána is committed to developing the civilian support function within the Garda Síochána to the level of best international practice and that he will continue to work to drive the civilianisation programme forward.