There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion, which includes provision for sustained recruitment to An Garda Síochána this year.
The Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the recruitment and training of personnel. Further, the allocation of Garda resources and distribution of personnel are a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
I am pleased to say that recruitment of Garda members and staff is ongoing - An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We currently have over 14,200 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,600 Garda staff. And as part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021, there is ongoing and increased recruitment both of new Gardaí as well as Garda staff, allowing for redeployment of Gardaí to operational duties at the front-line. Since the reopening of the Garda Training College in 2014, approximately 2,800 new Garda members have attested and been assigned to frontline policing duties in communities throughout the country. Another 200 probationer Gardaí are due to attest by the end of this year. Further, the Garda Commissioner’s decision to recruit a net 600 Garda staff in 2019 will allow for the redeployment of approximately 500 experienced Gardaí to frontline and visible policing duties by the end of this year.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current estimated full year cost of employing 100 new Gardaí in 2020 is approximately €2,390,700. I am further informed that this estimate assumes that 100 all new recruits commence training on 1 January 2020.
It should be noted that payroll costs for new Garda recruits include a basic allowance of €184 per week. After 32 weeks of training, Garda recruits are attested and move on to the first point of the Garda pay scale €30,980 (on the basis of the pay scale which will be in operation on completion of training in August 2020). These figures include Employer's PRSI and an estimate of allowances which Garda members may qualify for depending on their assignments. The annual cost will increase as the members move up the Garda pay scale each year.
With regard to Garda staff, I am informed that such staff positions range from clerical support and financial management functions to specialised roles in HR, IT and telecommunications, as well as finance and procurement, internal audit, communications, research and analysis, accommodation, scene-of-crime support and legal and medical services. Large numbers of Garda staff also work in operational areas including the Garda Central Vetting Bureau, the Garda Information Service Centre, the Fixed Charge Processing Office and the Command and Control Centre.
Bearing in mind this broad range of duties, I am advised by the Garda authorities that the estimated cost of employing 100 Garda staff would be approximately €4,500,000, on the basis of an average estimated cost per civilian employee of approximately €45,000, including employer costs such as PRSI.