At the outset, it is important to emphasise that the Garda Commissioner and his team are responsible for the operation and management of An Garda Síochána and the distribution of resources within that organisation. As Minister for Justice, it is important that I work with the Garda Commissioner and ensure that he can fulfil what it is he sets out to do. This includes the establishment of new units and structures. As Minister, however, I have no direct role in these matters.
I refer specifically to the Garda national cybercrime bureau, GNCB, which is involved in tackling cyber-enabled crimes in collaboration with other Garda units such as the Garda national economic crime bureau, GNECB. The GNCB is part of the special crime operations section of An Garda Síochána and its members undergo intensive training in the area of forensic computing and cybercrime investigations. The bureau's remit also includes providing information on current cybercrime trends and online crime prevention advice, while at the same time operating as the Garda cybercrime and computer forensics liaison with partners including academic institutions, Europol, Interpol, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
It is important to note while we are moving to set up these particular units that every Garda district at the moment has a number of personnel trained in the use of digital forensic toolsets for the examination of any physical device seized or surrendered during the course of such investigations. However, when required, assistance will be provided to members of the Garda Síochána during the course of an investigation by the cybercrime bureau which has examiners trained in the use of forensic examination software, computer forensics and fundamentals up to master's degree level, in addition to receiving peer reviewed practical training. This is already underway but, obviously, much more was planned.
With regard to the roll-out of the new regional cybercrime units, I am satisfied that An Garda Síochána has the necessary funding to set up these units. I confirm that in line with the normal sanctioning process that must take place, in particular, when we are talking about any ICT investment, whether it is for public or private service, there must be a particular process it goes through. There have been extensive consultations between my Department and An Garda Síochána on this matter. I understand the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is currently considering the sanction request for the procurement of a managed service to facilitate the roll-out of the new regional cybercrime units and I expect a decision in the near future.