Business of the Committee [Extract]
Deputy John Deasy: Comments were made about the committee's role with regard to penalty points. What is our plan? Are we waiting for the Garda to finish its audit? Will we then invite the acting Garda Commissioner back before the committee? Have we been in contact with the Garda on this? What are we proposing?
Chairman (Deputy John McGuinness): An investigation is ongoing and we are to get a copy of the report. That is the up-to-date position, as I understand it. We can arrange a meeting with the acting Garda Commissioner to go through the latest information when we have the report.
Deputy John Deasy: Will the meeting be in public session here?
Chairman: We can do that, yes. We can include the latest information in our concluding report.
Deputy John Deasy: That relates to my second question. How close are we to concluding our end of things?
Clerk to the Committee: I had a draft report prepared based on the hearings we had up to the summer, including the road safety elements that we covered with the Road Safety Authority. This report can be deferred easily until the latest issue involving Sergeant McCabe's allegations has been dealt with, if the committee so wishes. I was going to circulate the draft report tomorrow.
Deputy John Deasy: Through the years the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General has compiled four or five reports on this issue. Is it being actively considered at the moment or is everything finalised on this matter?
Mr. Seamus McCarthy: We have finalised and presented our report. In fairness to the Garda Síochána, a period of time should be allowed for new arrangements to bed in. After this period we will consider re-examining the controls, but we are not doing anything at the moment.
Deputy John Deasy: We are waiting for the Garda to finish its audit and at that point we will incorporate what we need to into our report. At the same time we will invite the acting Garda Commissioner to come before the committee. That is fine.
Chairman: I do not think we can conclude our report without consideration of that. We can only consider the concluded report when the Garda investigation is completed. This is very different from how we started - we started with a private hearing involving Sergeant McCabe and we were unsure. Then we received the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and got full information. This is new information and we will see what emerges from the Garda report.
Deputy John Deasy: Do we have any idea of the timeline for the finalisation of the Garda audit?
Chairman: I understand the Garda is dealing with this as an urgent matter.
Mr. Seamus McCarthy: A public report within three weeks has been mentioned. I can verify that.
Clerk to the Committee: I can get in touch with the Garda.