280. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which adequate provision continues to be made to ensure the availability of the most sophisticated technology to assist An Garda Síochána in the course of duties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6029/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda equipment and resources, including ICT, are a matter for the Garda Commissioner and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government recognises that Gardaí must have the modern technology and resources necessary to detect and investigate crimes, and to prevent loss and harm to citizens and their property on a 24/7 basis. Accordingly, the Garda Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016 to 2021 sets out a series of initiatives which will enable An Garda Síochána deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in the fight against crime.
In support of this plan, some €342 million, including €217 million under the Capital Plan, is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 to enable An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in delivering professional policing and security services for the community. In parallel with this, a new ICT Strategy document is being developed that will align with the vision of the organisation to be a beacon of 21 st century policing; it is expected that this ICT strategy will be finalised in Q1 2018 and will cover the period 2018-2021.
Garda ICT infrastructure is currently supporting a number of initiatives that are already under way as part of the Modernisation and Renewal Programme. It also continues to support and develop existing systems and infrastructures, ensuring that current systems support the ongoing business requirements of An Garda Síochána and that its datacentres and communications infrastructures can meet the demands of the organisation.
The ICT strategy will examine how each business unit within ICT can support the current and future needs of the organisation, leveraging new technologies (e.g. cloud computing) and aligning with Government strategies. A redevelopment of the PULSE system is also envisaged to ensure that the user interface, system architecture and support processes can support the future needs of the organisation. Furthermore, a new ICT HR plan will be developed to ensure that the appropriate skills and resources are available to deliver on ICT commitments.