252. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda attached to the Garda Economic Crime Bureau in each of the years 2013 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47238/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no responsibility for these matters. I am informed 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.
I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) (formerly the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation) was established on 1 September 2016. The Bureau has dedicated expert staff, including professional forensic accountants, to address white collar and other fraud and economic crimes, and includes the restructured Garda Cyber Crime Bureau, the Money-laundering Investigation Unit and a new Foreign Bribery and Corruption Unit.
I am further informed by the Commissioner that as of 31 October 2019, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 72 Garda assigned to the GNECB, supported by 19 Garda civilian staff and 3 accountants.
The Commissioner advises that Garda management within the Bureau are working with local Garda management, at District and Divisional levels, to ensure the necessary tools and training are provided to enable and empower District and Divisional resources to investigate cases of economic crime at that level, with advice and guidance available from within the Bureau. I understand that the Bureau has recently placed a greater emphasis on ensuring that economic crime of lesser amounts that are currently reported to the Bureau are assessed and transmitted to District Officers for investigation, with more complex cases, routinely involving significant amounts, being investigated by the Bureau.
For the Deputy’s information the following table sets out the number of gardaí by rank attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau in each of the years sought by the Deputy and for the current year up until 31/10/19, as provided to me by the Garda authorities.
Strength Of The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau by rank (formerly Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation 2013-2019

2013 1 2 5 14 47 69
2014 1 2 5 16 38 62
2015 1 2 3 13 42 58
2016 1 2 3 11 36 53
2017 1 2 3 17 43 66
2018 1 1 2 13 49 66
2019 (as of 31/10) 1 2 3 10 56 72