As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda equipment and resources, including ICT, are a matter for the Garda Commissioner and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Síochána Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016-2021 is intended to professionalise, modernise and renew An Garda Síochána to ensure that the organisation can meet present and future challenges. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Programme prioritises ICT projects with the aim of fully embedding technology initiatives to improve the services delivered to communities by An Garda Síochána. Key outputs from the Programme include:
- the introduction of mobile technology solutions to enable operational Gardaí to access core information systems, including PULSE, while on duty and away from Garda stations;
- providing members with real-time information on mobile devices, as well as enabling investigation teams to collect and share information digitally;
- the continued extension of the Garda network throughout 2017 to ensure that non-networked stations gain access to relevant systems;
- modernisation of Garda information systems, such as PULSE, to ensure that members have quick access to timely and accurate information.
In addition, I understand that the following key projects have commenced and will see delivery across 2017:
- Investigations Management System which will support the management of activities completed as part of an investigation, maintain a full history of the chain of events in an investigation, manage information gathered, decisions made and actions taken;
- Property and Exhibit Management System which will be used to record all property and exhibits which come into Garda possession and manage them throughout their life cycle within the organisation from crime scene to court;
- Enterprise Content Management system which will provide An Garda Síochána with a single enterprise content repository for all documentation and multimedia content created (for example CCTV clips); and
- Rosters and Duty Management system.
The Programme is being supported by significant Government investment of some €330 million, including €205 million under the Capital Plan, in Garda ICT infrastructure over the period 2016 to 2021. This major investment will allow An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in the fight against crime and will facilitate progress on important reforms arising from the Garda Inspectorate's report on Crime Investigation.