698. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice if a recent contract for the supply of new Garda cars went out to tender; and if so, when the new cars will come into the fleet. [12702/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The Deputy will be aware that in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. This function includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no direct role in these decisions. I am assured, however, that Garda management keep the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.
I can inform the Deputy that 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 was made for the 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 procedures as Minister for Justice.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that based on an order placed in December 2020, a total of 77 vehicles are being fitted out and allocated in accordance with identified operational demands. I am further advised that a second order has been placed with delivery and fit-out expected in Quarter 2 of 2021.
Separately the Deputy may be interested to know that at 28 February 2021 there were 2,377 cars attached to the Garda fleet.