104. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to appoint a Garda Commissioner before the work of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland is completed. [47401/17]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware the Policing Authority under section 9 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, has responsibility for nominating persons for appointment by the Government to the post of Garda Commissioner.
This will be the first time that the new legislative process is utilised and I have consulted with the Chair of the Authority about a process to identify and appoint a permanent Commissioner to An Garda Síochána. We are agreed that it is crucial that a deliberate and considered recruitment process takes place so that the best possible candidate is appointed following a selection process. We are also agreed that an overly long delay in the appointment of a new Commissioner would not be optimal for the organisation in terms of performance and morale.
I am pleased to say that the Authority has commenced the groundwork for the recruitment process in advance of the formal triggering of the statutory process by Government. I see this process taking a number of weeks during which the Authority will engage with my Department and with the Public Appointments Service which will undertake the competition on behalf of the Authority. Importantly, it will also allow the Authority to explore with the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland how it sees the future role and responsibilities of the new Commissioner. As the Deputy is aware the Commission is undertaking a comprehensive review of all aspects of policing in the State and has considerable experience and expertise. I very much welcome the willingness of the Commission to share its perspective with the Authority in advance of completing its work in September 2018. This will assist in ensuring that potential candidates have as much information as possible in relation to the future direction of policing in the State.
Subject to the progress that the Authority makes over the coming weeks I would expect that the Government will be in a position to formally approve the Authority to invite the Public Appointments Service to conduct the selection process in the coming weeks. Once the process is triggered I would anticipate that it will take between four to six months to identify and appoint a successful candidate.