Deputy John Deasy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the additional resources that have been provided to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation on foot of concerns raised by the Garda Inspectorate a year ago regarding its workload and an absence of dedicated expertise.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and Units and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that the allocation of Gardaí is continually monitored and reviewed taking into account all relevant factors including crime trends, demographics, and security assessments relating to the area in question so as to ensure optimal use is made of Garda human resources.
I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (formerly the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation) is part of Special Crime Operation and has a dedicated expert staff, including professional civilian staff to address white collar, fraud and economic crimes.
As of 31 October, 2016 the latest date for which figures are available there were 55 members of An Garda Síochána, two professional accountants and 12 civilians attached to the Bureau. A competition to appoint a further two forensic accountants has recently been completed by the Public Appointments Service and it is expected that they will assigned to the Bureau early in 2017.
In addition, I am informed that the Commissioner has recently held competitions to fill vacancies for members in Garda Special Crime Operations and the needs of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau will be considered, when assigning successful candidates from these competitions.