Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ceisteanna (138, 139)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

138. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the projected increase or demand for workers and employees due to demographic changes for the years 2018 to 2028. [20702/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

139. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the budgetary projection within his Department due to demographic change for the years 2018 to 2028. [20706/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 138 and 139 together.

While the focus on the annual estimates process tends to be on the upcoming financial year, the Department is increasingly focusing on the requirements for future years and where possible this will be factored in to the estimates process. This applies for example in relation to staffing requirements across the sector. The Programme for Government commits to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement and provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. In July 2016 the Government agreed overall vision for the Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 to include 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Garda Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. In relation to the Department, there is a formal workforce planning exercise every three years to identify the number of staff and the skills required to deliver the Department's strategy. The workforce plan is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure emerging issues are incorporated.  Staff demographics are considered within the workforce plan to inform effective succession planning.

The recently published National Development Plan provides for capital allocations for the Justice sector from 2018 to 2022 and the main areas of capital investment for the sector in the period to 2027 are outlined in the Plan.  It also recognises that increased population growth in the next ten years as envisaged under the National Planning Framework will also create new demands in terms of the current accommodation stock across the sector including in relation to policing , prisons and courts. Hence, the requirement for additional public capital infrastructure for the criminal justice system.

My Department is also developing its analytical capability to be better placed to predict future trends including demographic changes and thus better inform both policy developments and budgetary requirements in the years ahead.