16th September 2022
THE MINISTER FOR Justice Helen McEntee has secured approval to publish an action plan to counter the threat of internal corruption within An Garda Síochána.
It follows on from a Garda Inspectorate’s report last year that examined the effectiveness of the force at preventing, detecting and mitigating the threat of internal corruption.
The Inspectorate’s report contained 34 recommendations aimed at strengthening anti-corruption measures and improving safeguards, including in the areas of:
- The abuse of power for sexual gain
- Conflicts of interest/business interests
- Substance testing
- Discontinued court cases
- Operation of the statutory exemption from fixed charge penalties in emergency situations.
The implementation plan, which contains actions to address each of the 34 recommendations, has been jointly prepared by the Department of Justice and An Garda Síochána.
While Minister McEntee noted that ““the vast majority of Garda members serve the organisation with integrity each and every day,” she cautioned that “the unique nature of policing means it is one which is open to the threat of corruption”.
She said the “report will help ensure that An Garda Síochána has the appropriate structures and measures in place to guard against that threat”.
Minister McEntee added that significant work has already been undertaken to counter corruption in the organisation and to “develop a culture where it safe and encouraged to speak up if you are aware of corruption or wrongdoing”.
“Clear policies and procedures are in place for reporting and dealing with wrongdoing,” said the Minister.
She added that the Justice Department will “continue to work closely with An Garda Síochána and the Policing Authority to ensure targets are being met and recommendations are implemented”.