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Question

669. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice her work to date in respect of reform of Garda staff associations that is being implemented in A Policing Service for the Future; and the name of each association, the goals that are to be achieved and the progress made to date on same in tabular form. [26318/21]

670. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice if she had engagements with Garda management regarding the impact of the new Garda operational policing model and the impact that would have on the way in which the executive of an association (details supplied) would be structured. [26319/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 669 and 670 together.
The Deputy will be aware that the introduction of a new operating police model was a key recommendation in the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, published in September 2018, and its implementation plan, A Policing Service for our Future (APSFF).
Under the Divisional Policing Model, all services will be managed and co-ordinated at divisional level, to allow greater specialisation and to release Gardaí from back office functions, and Garda Districts will no longer form part of the organisational structure.
The General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Garda Síochána Operating Model) Bill has been approved by Government to facilitate the full roll out of the new Garda Operating Model. The General Scheme was finalised following extensive engagement with An Garda Síochána, which worked closely with my Department to identify the legislative changes required in respect of the new Operating Model.
Among these changes is the removal of references to districts from the statute book to ensure there are no legislative impediments to the roll-out of the new operating model. The Statutory Regulations which govern the operation of all Garda representative associations are among the pieces of secondary legislation which will require review to remove references to districts and other subsequent amendments. Consultation will take place with stakeholders, including the Garda associations, in advance of any changes to Regulations being made.
I can further inform the Deputy that there are no actions in APSFF which lead directly to reforming the Garda associations. However, there have been a number of changes in recent years to the industrial relations environment in which these associations operate, notably the enactment of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2019, which gave Gardaí access to the Workplace Relations Commission for collective Industrial Relations matters. These matters are the subject of ongoing consideration by my Department, in conjunction with the Garda authorities. Question No. 670 answered with Question No. 669. Question No. 671 answered with Question No. 665.