The Garda Síochána Act, in 2005, made detailed provisions for the making of Disciplinary Regulations for the Garda Síochána. In its report earlier this year, the Garda Síochána Act Implementation Group, chaired by Senator Maurice Hayes, acknowledged the requirement for changes to the Garda disciplinary regulations to coincide with the coming into operation of the Garda Ombudsman Commission. The Group was strongly of the view that the opportunity should be taken for a comprehensive revision of the Garda disciplinary framework so as to bring it into line with modern practice in human resource management.
Subsequently, on 19 May 2006, the Government statement regarding Reports of the Morris Tribunal acknowledged and accepted the views of the Tribunal that the current disciplinary regulations need to be replaced by a new, less complex, approach which will be swift and fair with a simple appeal process.
On 17 August last, on publication of the 3rd, 4th and 5th reports of the Morris Tribunal, I published new draft Garda Discipline Regulations which were drawn up in consultation with the Garda Commissioner. These draft regulations take account of the recommendations of the Morris Tribunal, follow well-established principles in the public sector and beyond, and are significantly more streamlined than existing Garda Discipline Regulations. The new draft regulations have been put into the Garda Conciliation Council for discussion with the Garda Representative Associations and, in recognition of the fundamental changes now proposed, I have made available additional time beyond the original target date of the Summer recess. I am informed that the Garda Representative Associations have engaged positively in those discussions. I expect that the discussions can be concluded quickly and effectively, and I look forward to bringing final proposals to Government for approval in the coming weeks.