Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (291)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

291. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of items of correspondence received from persons regarding the competition for promotion in relation to candidates that were not called for a preliminary interview and did not seek external reviews by the Policing Authority in respect of concerns in relation to the conduct of the competition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53359/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), the Garda Commissioner is responsible for personnel matters including arranging for appointments to the rank of sergeant and inspector.  As the Deputy will also be aware, the Policing Authority assumed responsibility for appointments to the senior ranks of Superintendent, Chief Superintendent and Assistant Garda Commissioner on 1 January 2017.  As Minister, I have no role in these promotion competitions or the complaints and appeals process for such competitions.

The complaints and review procedures for promotion competitions carried out by the Policing Authority are detailed on the Policing Authority’s website, an example of which is available here:

https://www.policingauthority.ie/assets/uploads/documents/Statement_of_Practice_Superintendent_Competition_2019.pdf

Similarly, promotion competitions to the rank of Sergeant and Inspector are the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner and are held in compliance with Commissioner for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) Code of practice – Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service and Public Service. The Code sets out in Section 7, the procedures where a candidate wishes to have an action or decision made in relation to their candidature reviewed. This code of practice is available on the CPSA website:

https://www.cpsa.ie/codes-of-practice/code-of-practice-for-appo/

The Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources.  As Minister, I have no responsibility for these matters. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, my Department receives thousands of pieces of correspondence each year.  Therefore, in the interest of efficiency, the search of correspondence records referred to by the Deputy was confined to standard written correspondence received to date in 2019.  My officials undertook a search of the Department's system for management of standard correspondence using relevant key words and consulted with relevant teams, none of which identified any relevant records regarding unsuccessful candidature in recent competitions for promotion to the rank of inspector and superintendent.  In any event as set out above, I have no role in these matters as Minister and any such contact would be referred by my Department to An Garda Síochána or the Policing Authority as appropriate.