I would first point out that as the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote, the Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of the organisation.
The report of the Commission on the Future of Policing (CoFPI) recommended that a review of Garda allowances should be expedited, to rationalise the allowance system and simplify its administration. As Deputies will be aware, Government last December endorsed that report and 'A Policing Service for the Future' , the four year implementation plan giving effect to the recommendations of the Commission, was published.
I understand that in line with the timelines set out in A Policing Service for the Future, a review of the current allowance system has commenced.
While allowances were first introduced by Government to An Garda Síochána by way of Allowances Orders 1924 and 1926, these allowances, in addition to others, have been amended and negotiated over time.
I am informed that with the exception of the 2012 Government Decision on abolition of allowances, the standard practice of introduction and amendment or repeal of any allowance has been, and remains, the remit of the Conciliation/Arbitration scheme. I would remind the Deputy that the Conciliation/Arbitration scheme was established for the purpose of enabling my Department, the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform and the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána on the one hand, and the Representative Associations on the other hand, to provide means acceptable to both the Government and the Garda Representative Associations for the determination of:
- Claims, including pay and allowances; and
- Proposals relating to conditions of Service of members of the ranks they represent.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that they are preparing a table setting out not only the current allowances but all those which have been available to be claimed by members of An Garda Síochána, including the date of introduction of each allowance; and I will provide that table to the Deputy directly.