234. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if electronic tagging for repeat offenders is being introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10655/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that provisions in respect of electronic monitoring of persons on bail are currently contained in section 6B of the Bail Act 1997, but were not commenced. Section 7 of the Criminal Justice Act 2017, amends these existing provisions for the electronic monitoring of persons on bail to facilitate the focused and targeted use of monitoring in appropriate cases. The Act provides that electronic monitoring may be imposed as a bail condition if the prosecution applies to the court for such a condition.
Extensive preparations are underway to ensure these provisions can be implemented and more importantly, to ensure they can be effective. My Department is chairing a Working Group on Electronic Monitoring which includes the Irish Prison Service, the Probation Service, the Courts Service, An Garda Síochána and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The Working Group submitted a report to my Department's Management Board and these recommendations were considered.
Following on from this, my Department has been engaging with the Office of the Government Procurement (OGP) to try and identify a suitable expert to advise the Department on Electronic Monitoring pre-market consultations. Discussions between the Department and the OGP in this regard remain ongoing.