· Designation follows an open selection process run by the Public Appointments Service

· Minister Fitzgerald welcomes designation of high calibre team

· Helen Hall to be first CEO of new Authority

· Policing Authority to be established on January 1st

 

30th December, 2015

 

Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, has today announced that the Government has designated the following persons as the first members of the Policing Authority:

 

· Ms. Josephine Feehily (previously named as Chairperson-designate of the Authority);

· Mr. Noel Brett;

· Mr. Bob Collins;

· Dr. Vicky Conway;

· Mr. Patrick Costello;

· Ms. Judith Gillespie;

· Ms. Valerie Judge;

· Ms. Maureen Lynott;

· Dr. Moling Ryan.

 

The designation of the members follows the commencement of the relevant provisions of the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 and will facilitate the establishment of the Authority on 1 January 2016. Of the eight Ordinary Members designated, four will, in accordance with the statutory provisions, hold office for a period of 4 years and four will hold office for a period of 3 years. This is to enable orderly change within the membership without loss of corporate knowledge. The members are eligible for re-appointment following the expiration of their term of office.

 

Minister Fitzgerald said: "The Government has, following an open selection process run by the Public Appointments Service, put in place a high calibre team, with a broad and appropriate range of skills and experience, to lead the new independent Policing Authority. I wish them well in their appointment.”

 

“Under the chairmanship of Josephine Feehily, I believe that the Authority will provide a new, effective and independent forum for the public oversight of policing services in Ireland."

 

The Minister also announced that Ms. Helen Hall, currently CEO of the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority, will be appointed as the Chief Executive of the Policing Authority following a competition run by the Public Appointments Service.

 

Welcoming her new colleagues, Chairperson Josephine Feehily said: "I am delighted to be joined by such distinguished and experienced colleagues and look forward to working with them in the coming years to establish the Policing Authority and to carry out our important work in overseeing the performance by the Garda Síochána of its policing functions for the benefit of the community. I very much welcome the designation of Helen Hall as Chief Executive of the Policing Authority. Helen is the current Chief Executive of the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority and a chartered accountant. She has extensive experience of working in the private and public sectors and with the UN, at home and abroad, and I am confident she will prove an excellent Chief Executive for the Authority."

 

The Authority will have extensive functions that will allow it to oversee the governance, structures and performance of the Garda Síochána in the policing area.

 

Under the legislation, the Authority will, in particular, have responsibility for:

· overseeing the performance by the Garda Síochána of its policing functions under a broad range of headings;

· nominating persons for appointment by the Government to the posts of Garda Commissioner and Deputy Garda Commissioner;

· appointing persons to the ranks of Garda Superintendent, Chief Superintendent and Assistant Commissioner;

· appointing persons to senior positions within the Garda civilian staff;

· determining Garda priorities in relation to policing services;

· approving the 3 year Garda strategy statement;

· approving the annual Garda policing plan;

· establishing a Garda code of ethics; and

· promoting and supporting the continuous improvement of policing in the State.

 

The Act also enables the Authority to request the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and the Garda Síochána Inspectorate to initiate an inspection or inquiry or to examine Garda practices or procedures.

 

The Authority will hold regular public meetings with the Garda Commissioner at which the public can attend and the media can broadcast.

 

Ends.../

 

Note for Editors:

 

Members

· Josephine Feehily is former chairperson of the Revenue Commissioners;

· Noel Brett is the CEO of Banking and Payments Federation Ireland and former CEO of the Road Safety Authority;

· Bob Collins is a former Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and former Director General of RTE;

· Vicky Conway is a lecturer in Law, Dublin City University and former senior Lecturer in Law, Kent Law School;

· Patrick Costello is the CEO of Chartered Accountants Ireland, former CEO of the Irish Tax Institute and former officer in the Defence Forces;

· Judith Gillespie is a Policing and Leadership Adviser and former Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland;

· Valerie Judge is a Management Consultant specialising in strategic planning, governance, HR, process leadership and change, the Chair of Ruhama, and a former Director of Shared Services in the HSE Eastern Region;

· Maureen Lynott is the former Chair of the Top Level Advisory Committee (TLAC) and the taskforce to establish the Child & Family Agency;

· Moling Ryan is a Barrister and the former Chief Executive of the Legal Aid Board and Director of Human Resources and Change Management in the Courts Service.

 

Under the Act, persons designated as members of the Authority shall stand appointed on the day the Authority is established.

Helen Hall, who will be the first Chief Executive of the Authority, is currently Chief Executive of the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority. Prior to this, she worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, Deloitte and the UN World Food Programme.

Background

The establishment of a Policing Authority is a key element of the Government's programme of justice reform and was highlighted as a priority in the Statement of Government Priorities 2014- 2016. A Cabinet Committee on Justice Reform, chaired by An Taoiseach, was established in April 2014 and has overseen the development of the legislative proposals for the new Authority.

The views of the public on the proposal to establish a new Authority were sought by way of a Government public consultation process that took place in May 2014. In addition, a consultation seminar on justice reform was hosted by the Minister for Justice and Equality on 20 June 2014 at Farmleigh House, attended by some 100 participants. The purpose of the seminar was to provide a platform for key stakeholders and persons with an interest in Garda reform to discuss elements of the Government justice reform programme.

Following a public consultation process and a number of hearings with interested parties, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality published a report of its review of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 in October 2014. A number of the report's recommendations relate to the establishment of a new Policing Authority and the Committee's recommendations were taken into account in the drafting of the legislation.

The provisions of the Bill are generally in line with the Scheme of a Bill published by the Minister in November 2014. The Joint Oireachtas Committee considered the Scheme, by way of pre-legislative scrutiny, and broadly welcomed its proposals.

The chairperson, Ms. Josephine Feehily and the other members of the Authority were selected for appointment following a selection process run by the Public Appointments Service.