429. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the delay in drafting the Garda Síochána (compensation) Bill 2017 in view of the approval of the heads of the Bill and agreement that no further pre-legislative scrutiny was required by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality on 9 May 2017. [54426/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Government is committed to reforming the system that provides compensation to members of An Garda Síochána who are injured in the course of their duty. The Scheme of the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Bill which was published in 2017 provides for new arrangements that will result in a more efficient and cost-effective system.
The major reform at the heart of the Scheme that has been published is a move away from the current arrangements under which the Minister for Justice and Equality approves cases to proceed to the High Court for determination of quantum to one where quantum is assessed by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and cases are handled to conclusion by the State Claims Agency (SCA).
In the time since the Scheme was published, my Department has consulted with PIAB and the SCA to further refine the new regime and the Scheme is currently with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting.
Allowing for other competing demands, I would hope that it will be possible to publish the Bill during 2019.