Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (277)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

277. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will raise with the Garda Commissioner the possibility of An Garda Síochána setting up a dedicated communication channel for queries from members of the Oireachtas in view of the fact that most parliamentary questions pertaining to Garda matters are disallowed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47756/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department engages with An Garda Síochána in relation to information for which I am accountable to the House and this responsibility is taken most seriously.

There are a range of other matters for which the Commissioner is responsible under the law and in respect of which I have no role.

My objective is always to be as helpful as possible to Deputies bearing in mind the law and the Standing Orders of the House. It is with this in mind that my Department has begun to proactively publish more routine information in relation to An Garda Síochána. For example, my Department now publishes information which the Deputy may find useful in relation to the Garda workforce, broken down by rank and location, which is updated on a monthly basis. This ensures that accurate and up to date information on Garda strengths is available not only to members of Dáil Éireann but also to members of the public, researchers etc.

I am also examining other areas in which a similar programme of publication can be pursued, to ensure that appropriate levels of information are made available to the widest possible range of stakeholders. I will explore the Deputy’s proposal further in this context.