Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ceisteanna (158)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

158. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost in 2020 if the budget for the Garda Criminal Assets Bureau increased by 20%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40923/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is a multi-agency statutory body established under the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996. The Bureau’s remit is to target a person's assets, wherever situated, which derive, or are suspected to derive, directly or indirectly, from criminal conduct. Since its inception, the Bureau has been at the forefront of fighting organised crime in this jurisdiction and disrupting the activities of criminal gangs by depriving them of ill-gotten assets.

The Bureau is widely regarded as a best practice model in the context of combating organised crime. Its structure and powers have been modelled by other jurisdictions. It works closely with law enforcement bodies at national and international levels and continues to relentlessly pursue the illicit proceeds of organised crime activity. The actions of the Bureau send a strong message to criminals and to local communities that profiting from crime will not be tolerated.

Reflecting the Government's commitment to ensure that the Bureau is adequately resourced, the CAB’s staffing and budgetary allocation has increased significantly in recent years. Since 2016, the Bureau's staffing resources have increased from 71 to its current level of 85, with staff numbers due to rise to 91 during this year. Similarly, the Bureau's budgetary allocation has gone up from €7.042 million in 2016 to €8.603m in 2019.

Accordingly I am advised that if the budget for the Garda Criminal Assets Bureau were increased by 20% in 2020, the estimated additional cost would be approximately €1.72 million and the total cost would be approximately €10.3 million.