506. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of vacancies within the Garda information services centre; the number of these vacancies that remain unfilled since the start of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19285/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including all personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
The Garda Information Service Centre (GISC) was established by An Garda Síochána in Castlebar in 2005 on a 24/7/365 basis with the objectives of increasing Garda visibility, reducing the time spent by operational members on administrative duties and to improve the quality of data at An Garda Síochána. I am informed by An Garda Síochána that the GISC is staffed entirely by Garda Staff. I am advised by the Commissioner that as of 3 May 2019 there were a total of 237 Garda Staff allocated to GISC and that currently there are 27 vacancies in GISC at Clerical Officer and Executive Officer level of which 7 have arisen since the start of 2019.
The operation of GISC by Garda Staff fully reflects the Government's vision for a Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 to include 15,000 Garda members and 4,000 Garda Staff. Progress is being made in relation to civilianisation with approximately 410 new civilian posts sanctioned since the beginning of 2017. This includes sanction in February 2018 for 24 Garda Staff for GISC, including 4 Higher Executive Officers, 10 Executive Officers and 10 Clerical Officers.