Dáil Éireann - Volume 618 - 27 April, 2006
Written Answers. - Garda Remuneration.
Mr. O’Shea Mr. O’Shea
Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the high rate of overtime payments to members of the Garda Síochána which amounted to a total of €77 million in 2005; his plans to reduce the level of overtime worked; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15652/06]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell: I have no plans at all to reduce the overall level of overtime worked by members of the Garda Síochána. My priority is to enhance the level of front-line policing services to the public, and overtime plays a key role in this.
The nature of Garda work, and the requirement that the Garda authorities respond at short notice to immediate policing demands, mean that overtime expenditure is essential for the purposes  of effective policing. That is so even taking into account the major increase in Garda strength currently under way, as the objective of Garda overtime is to allow the Garda Síochána flexibility in responding to circumstances which require personnel resources over and above those available from gardaí on rostered duty.
The Estimate provision for Garda overtime in 2006 is €83.5 million, which represents an increase of €23 million on last year’s original allocation. This will greatly aid the planned deployment of a visible policing service in a flexible, effective and targeted way. The sum of €83.5 million in overtime will yield 2.725 million extra man hours of policing by uniformed gardaí and by special units throughout the State. The Garda Commissioner has assured me that this level of resources will enable the force to implement significant targeted intelligence-driven and high-intensity operations against organised crime, especially drug crime. Furthermore, I have made available a further €10 million to the Garda Commissioner for special Garda operations tackling specific forms of crime including burglaries and other offences.
I should also say that the Commissioner has put in place financial controls at all levels within the Garda Síochána, including monthly profiling of overtime expenditure, with a view to obtaining efficiencies and value for money in the use of overtime
Dáil Éireann 618 Written Answers. Garda Remuneration.