354. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost of recruiting an additional 100 civilian staff to An Garda Síochána. [31304/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion, as well as capital investment amounting to € 92 million this year.
The Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the recruitment and training of personnel. Further, the allocation of Garda resources and distribution of personnel are a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
I am pleased to say that recruitment of Garda members and staff is ongoing. Since the beginning of 2017, just under 500 new Garda staff posts have been sanctioned by the Policing Authority with the consent of my Department and that of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
The Government provided funding in Budget 2019 to sustain continued recruitment into An Garda Síochána and, as part of this recruitment, the Commissioner decided to recruit a net 600 Garda staff this year, which will facilitate the ongoing programme of civilianisation in An Garda Síochána and allow for the redeployment of approximately 500 experienced Gardaí to frontline policing duties by the end of this year. This fully reflects the Government's continuing support for the Commissioner in reaching the target of 4,000 Garda staff by 2021.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of 31 May 2019, there were approximately 2,700 Garda staff undertaking administrative, professional, technical and industrial support duties.
I am further informed that such staff positions range from clerical support and financial management functions to specialised roles in HR, IT and telecommunications, as well as finance and procurement, internal audit, communications, research and analysis, accommodation, scene-of-crime support and legal and medical services. Large numbers of Garda staff also work in operational areas including the Garda Central Vetting Bureau, the Garda Information Service Centre, the Fixed Charge Processing Office and the Command and Control Centre.
Bearing in mind this broad range of duties, I am advised by the Garda authorities that the estimated cost of employing 100 Garda staff would be approximately €4,500,000, on the basis of an average estimated cost per civilian employee of approximately €45,000, including employer costs such as PRSI.