As the Deputy will be aware, under Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. I can further inform the Deputy that the matters referred to in his question are operational and, as such, are a matter between the Commissioner and the Central Statistics Office.
However, to be of assistance, I have made enquiries with An Garda Síochána and I have been informed that monthly meetings continue between An Garda Síochána and the Central Statistics Office on data matters. The most recent meeting took place on 5 November, with another meeting scheduled for December.
I have been further informed that progress on the three priority data quality actions for 2020 are as follows:
1. A “Guide to how crime is recorded and counted by An Garda Síochána” was published in August 2020. This received positive feedback from the Central Statistics Office in their 29 September release on Recorded Crime Q2 2020.
2. Eircode capture was implemented in PULSE 7.6 on 18 October. This is complemented by the ongoing matching project to automatically encode existing addresses with Eircodes in PULSE. This is expected to complete in early December.
3. The robust PULSE data review process coordinated by the Garda Information Services Centre has been essential in the production of verifiable data reports and proving the quality of individual records in response to enquiries. This will be further validated by an internal and external audit of the review process, to be coordinated initially by the Garda Professional Standards Unit. I am informed that the Central Statistics Office has observed how this process leads to quality data used by Garda management at district level to inform operational decisions and has commented positively on this use of data in a letter to the Garda Commissioner.
An Garda Síochána and the Central Statistics Office will continue their collaboration on the recording, verification and publication of crime data in 2021. Specific actions will continue to be tracked through the Commissioner’s monthly reports.