Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Questions (104)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

104. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda Síochána clearance applications received in each of the years 2014 to 31 May 2016, by number received from registered organisations, by average time for completion or return of Garda clearance, by percentage completed within six weeks, by percentage completed within six to 12 weeks, by percentage completed within 12-24 weeks and by percentage taking longer than 24 weeks. [15386/16]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The number of vetting applications received for the requested time periods is set out in the following table. However, the more detailed information requested by the Deputy is not readily available and its compilation would necessitate a disproportionate amount of staff time and effort.

Year

Applications received

Turnaround times

2014

315,138

4 weeks for 80% of applications received

2015

335,427

4 weeks for 80% of applications received

2016 (31 May 2016)

129,651

4 weeks for 80% of applications received

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current average processing time for vetting applications is four weeks. However, in some individual cases additional enquiries may be necessary which may involve authorities other than An Garda Síochána and this may result in processing times in excess of the average. Any vetting process will take a certain minimum amount of time to complete and, taking into account the importance of measures to protect children and vulnerable adults while providing an effective and efficient service, the current period is not unreasonable.

The Deputy may also wish to know that An Garda Síochána launched an 'e-vetting' system on 29 April 2016 which will facilitate the processing of applications in an on-line format, thus removing the current time-consuming process of manual applications. E-vetting will further streamline the vetting process and contribute to sustaining reduced processing times for vetting applications. The e-vetting system is designed to be compatible with the requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and, in this regard, was launched in tandem with the commencement of the Acts.