696. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice if a recent contract for the supply of new Garda public order unit vans went out to tender; and if so, when the new vans will come into the fleet. [12700/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. In addition, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.
Significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million specifically for the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. Of this investment, a total of €9 million has been made available for purchase and fit-out of additional Garda vehicles in 2020. This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet and that Gardaí can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that all vehicle tenders and contracts for Garda Vehicles are handled through the Office of Government Procurement (OGP). An Garda Síochána Fleet Management Section engage with OGP on an ongoing basis to agree their vehicle needs and specifications. OGP put in place suitable contracts with suppliers and AGS draw down vehicles as required from these OGP contracts to meet their operational requirements.
I have no role in these matters as Minister for Justice.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that there are no plans to purchase public order vans in 2021.
Separately, the Deputy may be interested to know that there are currently 29 Public Order Vans attached to the Garda fleet. The table below sets out number of Public Order vans attached to the fleet by region.