Thursday, 3 October 2019

Questions (33)

Martin Kenny

Question:

33. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the part of the budget of An Garda Síochána the estimated €15 to €18 million cost of the visits of President Trump and Vice President Pence came from; the breakdown of the expenditure in view of the cost and the fact that the visits were of short duration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40130/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

There has been very significant investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years.  €1.76 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019, in addition to capital investment amounting to €92 million this year.  As the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote, the Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of the organisation, including the allocation of Garda resources.

The Deputy will appreciate that there is an obligation on the State to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of every visiting dignitary in line with risk assessment.  The costs of such visits generally include salary costs including overtime, travel and subsistence, communications costs, equipment costs, station services and so on.

The Garda authorities have informed me that the costs compiled to date in respect of President Trump’s visit total approximately €11.5 million.  I understand that the costs of Vice President Pence’s visit are not yet compiled.  The Government fully supports the Commissioner in his performance of this role and in his efforts to ensure that the Garda Vote comes in on budget and the financial position of An Garda Síochána is kept under regular review by the Garda Commissioner and my Department.  As I have previously indicated, the resources available to An Garda Síochána are being examined in the context of the budgetary process.