190. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if An Garda Síochána has recently put out to tender a contract to supply new marked Garda cars and vans to the fleet; if so, when the new vehicles will come into the fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11724/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that there has been unprecedented investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years.
In relation to Garda vehicles, €46 million has been provided by the Government for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021, to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet allowing Gardaí to be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime. This is in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the Garda fleet in the period of 2013 to 2015.
The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda resources, including vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no role in that matter. I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure their optimum use.
As the Deputy may be aware, a total of €10million has been allocated to the Garda fleet for 2019.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána purchase new vehicles under contracts tendered by the Office of Government Procurement and that contracts are currently in place for Garda cars and vans.
In relation to the budget of €10m available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles this year, I am informed by the Garda authorities that initial orders have been placed and that, following delivery and fit-out, allocation of these vehicles will commence in April 2019.
I understand from the Garda authorities that the allocation of these vehicles will be made on the basis of identified operational demands.