I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department did indeed receive correspondence from the company concerned. The matters raised in the correspondence were addressed in a reply issued to the company on 22nd March 2013.
In relation to vetting matters in general the Deputy will be aware that the Garda Central Vetting Unit provides employment vetting for approximately 20,000 organisations in Ireland, registered with the Unit for this purpose, which employ personnel to work in a full-time, part time, voluntary or student capacity with children and / or vulnerable adults. T he Unit processed approximately 328,000 vetting applications on behalf of these organisations in 2012.
In order to observe equity and fairness in respect of all applicants for Garda Vetting, standard processing procedures are such that applications are processed in chronological order, from the date of receipt at the Central Vetting Unit. All organisations registered for Garda Vetting are aware of the processing time-frames for the receipt of Garda vetting and have been advised to factor this into their recruitment and selection process.
It is my objective that processing times should be kept to a minimum, while maintaining the overall integrity of the vetting system. In that regard, following discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, sanction was recently granted for an additional 25 staff to be re-deployed from the Department of Agriculture to the Garda Central Vetting Unit in the near future, which should have a positive impact on processing times.
The Deputy may also wish to note that the Garda Central Vetting Unit will become the National Vetting Bureau under the provisions of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 and will have a substantially expanded role under that legislation. I am currently engaged with An Garda Síochána and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in addressing the staffing issues relevant to the coming into force of the 2012 Act.