473. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost of funding the Garda Complaints Board in the past five years to date; the number of personnel involved; the cost to date of the Garda Ombudsman Commission; the number of personnel involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24513/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Garda Síochána Complaints Board and the related Garda Síochána Complaints Appeal Board were established under the Garda Síochána (Complaints) Act 1986 to investigate complaints concerning the conduct of members of the Garda Síochána. It retained full responsibility for this function until Part 3 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 was enacted and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was established in December 2005. It was not until GSOC became fully operational in 2007 that the responsibility for receiving complaints transferred in its entirety to the Commission.
Therefore, it was necessary to maintain the existence of Garda Síochána Complaints Board and the related Appeal Board to enable these bodies to conclude cases which they were already investigating. Complaints which the Board had received but not commenced investigating were transferred to GSOC in accordance with transitional provisions of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
In May 2012 the Government re-appointed the members of the Garda Síochána Complaints Board as, at that time, there were still three remaining cases to be finalised. The last case was struck out in December 2013.
The term of office of the members serving on the Garda Síochána Complaints Appeal Board expired on 16 December 2013 and from that date the Complaints Board operated with two staff. The two serving members of the Board were later assigned to GSOC.
Statutory Instrument No. 271 of 2015 provided for the repeal of the Garda Síochána (Complaints) Act 1986 (as amended) with effect form 30 June 2015; this resulted in the dissolution of the Garda Complaints Board and the Garda Síochána Appeal Board.
Expenditure for the Complaints Board amounted to €179,563 in 2013. In 2014 it was €175,740. There was no expenditure in 2015. In 2016 there was a payment of €195.40, which related to the Statutory Instrument No. 271 of 2015. No expenditure has arisen since 2016.
GSOC is funded by a grant provided annually to the Commission through the Vote of the Department of Justice and Equality. The table below illustrates the total cost of GSOC from 2006 up to 2017 and for the current year up to 31 May 2018. The table also illustrates the number of staff employed by the Commission at the end of each year since its establishment. Two points of note are that the stated cost is the yearly spend as per GSOC’s published Annual Reports, and the staffing totals do not include the three Commissioners.
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