Garda Data

Ceisteanna (217)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

217. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount paid to contractors for information technology services by An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2009 to 2017; the contractors engaged; the amount paid; if the contractors engaged are subject to extensions of the original contract period; if he is satisfied that public procurement rules were adhered to fully when engaging contractors for ICT services over the period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13079/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that the management of the Garda Vote is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner as the accounting officer for An Garda Síochána and, as Minister, I have no function in relation to the matter.

In this context, the Commissioner is fully accountable to the Public Accounts Committee and the Comptroller and Auditor General in relation the Garda Vote.

Unfortunately, in the time available, I am not in a position to provide the Deputy with the specific information sought. However, when this information has been compiled I will revert directly to the Deputy.

Stardust Fire

Ceisteanna (218, 219, 220, 221, 222)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

218. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department will make the various expert reports commissioned to assist the tribunal of Inquiry on the fire at the Stardust, Artane, Dublin 5 in 1981 publicly available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13089/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

219. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department will make the expert report of a person (details supplied) submitted to the tribunal of Inquiry on the fire at the Stardust, Artane, Dublin 5 in 1981 publicly available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13090/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

220. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department will make the expert report of a person (details supplied) submitted to assist the tribunal of Inquiry on the fire at the Stardust, Artane, Dublin 5 in 1981 publicly available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13091/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

221. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department will make the expert report of a person (details supplied) submitted to assist the tribunal of Inquiry on the fire at the Stardust, Artane, Dublin 5 in 1981 publicly available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13092/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

222. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department will make the expert report of a person (details supplied) submitted to assist the tribunal of inquiry into the fire at the Stardust, Artane, Dublin 5 in 1981 publicly available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13093/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 218 to 222, inclusive, together.

My Department has recently provided a copy of the expert report from the firm "Cremer and Warner Ireland Ltd." to the Stardust Victims' Committee. The persons referred to in the "Details supplied" associated with the Deputy's Parliamentary Questions Nos. 219 and 221 were engaged by the firm concerned at the time of the "Tribunal of Inquiry on the Fire at the Stardust, Artane, Dublin" on 14 February 1981.

My Department does not possess a copy of the expert report of the person referred to in the "Details supplied" associated with the Deputy's Parliamentary Question No. 220. However, my Department is engaging with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to ascertain if the report concerned is held by that Department.

The report specified by the Deputy in Parliamentary Question No. 222 was provided by the then State Pathologist at the request of the then Dublin Coroner in the context of the aforementioned Tribunal.  The question of making that report publicly available is in the process of being considered having regard to, inter alia, the sensitivities of survivors and the relatives of those killed in the tragedy and discussions are ongoing with the relevant offices.  A decision on the matter will be made as soon as possible and communicated to the Stardust Victims' Committee.

Garda College

Ceisteanna (223)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

223. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the correspondence he has had with OLAF regarding its investigation into the banking arrangements of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13148/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 it is the Garda Commissioner who is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and is in law responsible for ensuring that the appropriate controls apply to expenditure within the organisation.

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is an organ of the European Union and is independent in the performance of its functions. I am advised by the Commissioner that An Garda Síochána is co-operating fully with the OLAF investigation in connection with the 2017 Garda Internal Audit Interim Report in relation to financial procedures in the Garda College. As this investigation is on-going it would not be appropriate to provide any additional information at present.

Ministerial Staff Data

Ceisteanna (224)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

224. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of each non-Civil service appointment he has made to a role in his Department; the persons appointed; the role, qualifications and salary of each; and the guidelines that apply in respect of party political fundraising. [13163/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Insofar as non-civil service appointments are concerned I can confirm that I have two special advisors - Ms Sarah Kavanagh and Mr. Tom Fabozzi. Both advisors are remunerated on the Principal Officer standard pay scale (PPC).  The appointment of both advisors was conducted in line with the guidelines from the Department of Public and Expenditure and Reform on Ministerial appointments.  As per the terms of their appointment special advisors are subject to the provisions of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act 2001. 

Sarah Kavanagh is my senior Special Advisor.  She holds a BA degree in History and Politics (UCD, 2000); an MA degree in Politics (UCD, 2001), an MA in Political Communication (DCU, 2007); a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (Honorable Society of King’s Inns, 2010); and a Barrister at Law Degree (Honorable Society of King’s Inns, 2012).  Ms Kavanagh worked in the Houses of the Oireachtas as a Parliamentary Assistant and Senior Policy Officer for nine years and as a Special Advisor in three Government Departments over the last four years.

Mr. Tom Fabozzi is my Communications Advisor.  He worked in a senior communications role for Fine Gael for five years and as a Special Advisor in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for 14 months and is a former journalist and producer.  Mr. Fabozzi holds a BA degree in European Studies (U.L., 1991) and an MA degree in Political Communications (DCU, 2007).

Having regard to the significant legislative programme that I am responsible for, I am currently in the process of appointing Robert A. Bourke BL to the position of Legal Advisor on similar terms and conditions to those cited above.  Mr. Bourke has over ten years’ experience as a practising barrister and worked for nine months as a Legal Researcher for the Company Law Review Group.  He holds a BA degree in Business, Politics and French (TCD, 2000); a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (Honorable Society of King’s Inns, 2004); and a Barrister at Law Degree (Honorable Society of King’s Inns, 2006).

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Ceisteanna (225)

Joan Collins

Ceist:

225. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason there will only be one service provider per Garda Division (details supplied). [13174/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware my Department is obliged to carry out a Call for Proposals process during 2018 in relation to the provision of Garda Youth Diversion Project (GYDP) services, to fully comply with requirements related to the co-funding of projects by the European Social Fund Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

I can assure the Deputy that the new approach to GYDP provision which is being developed in preparation for the Call for Proposals will not reduce the level of service that already exists, or the importance of community involvement in its delivery. On the contrary, the intention is to build on, update and improve a very valuable service so that it is available to every child or young person in the country who requires it. This improvement to the service will have benefits for significant numbers of young people in the State who cannot currently access GYDP services. While certain aspects of the new service model have been determined, work is ongoing to complete the full details to be included in the Call for Proposals, which is expected to issue later this year. I am convinced that community ownership and participation of the projects is an essential dimension that must be preserved and strengthened in the working out of this process.

To ensure State-wide coverage of GYDP services for young people, (which does not exist at present), the intention is that, in general, service provision will be aligned with Garda Divisions or other appropriate local areas with a distinct community identity, as may be agreed during the consultation process. The consideration of such local arrangements will apply particularly in relation to areas with a large number of potential participants on GYDPs.

I can assure the Deputy that my Department is committed to ensuring continuity of service for participants on GYDPs and to maintaining a community driven approach to their operation, as well as minimising any disruption for workers and service providers. In this regard, I am advised that the Call for Proposals process will facilitate existing service providers forming consortiums which could apply to provide services under the new GYDP model.

Careful consideration is being given to all issues raised by stakeholders involved in GYDPs as part of a wide-ranging consultation process, which is currently ongoing. This process includes arrangements for an extensive series of meetings with community based organisations and project workers which will facilitate closer communication and exchange of information in relation to these matters. The consultation process will help to inform further development of the Call for Proposals in advance of it being issued.

As indicated above, the Call for Proposals will require applicants to provide for continuity of GYDP services to current participants. It is of course a matter for organisations which apply to provide future GYDP services under the Call for Proposals to ensure that they comply with relevant legal responsibilities, including in relation to the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 131/2003).

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (226)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

226. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an application for a visa by a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13175/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application referred to was refused on the 1 November 2017, and the applicant was advised accordingly. The applicant was also advised of their right to appeal the decision but an appeal was not submitted.

While it is open to any visa required national to apply for a visa for any purpose, each visa application is considered on its individual merits.  In assessing any application, the Visa Officer will have regard to all of the information available to them including any previous applications made. The onus rests at all times with the applicant to satisfy the Visa Officer that any visa sought should be granted.  Guidelines on the application process including details of the required supporting documentation can be found on the INIS website (www.inis.gov.ie).

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to visamail@justice.ie.