199. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the average time Garda vetting is taking for applicants to An Garda Síochána; the reason for the delay with this process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20416/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána including the vetting of applications to become a member of the organisation, and I as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
In respect of recruitment to An Garda Síochána, given the nature of the employment, checks secondary to vetting are also required to be carried out and these can take some time to be completed. However, I am assured by the Garda Authorities that every effort is made to ensure there is no undue delay in this process being carried out.
There are a number of stages to be completed in the Competition for Selection of Garda Trainees, including Vetting. I am informed by the Garda authorities that such vetting may take from 6 weeks to 6 months generally depending on a number of factors. In a number of instances, it is necessary to conduct further enquiries. These enquiries are conducted for a multitude of reasons such as verification of identity; updating of incomplete records; and establishing outcomes of investigations. In such instances processing times are significantly longer than the general average. All components have to be completed before an applicant is deemed to be considered suitable and eligible to be recruited to An Garda Síochána.
Positions in the Garda College are only offered when all stages of the application process are completed and in accordance with one’s place on the Order of Merit. There is no set timeframe for offers to applicants as this is dependent on their files being fully completed and the intake dates into the Garda College.