112. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on establishing a central Garda resource specifically tasked with investigating fraudulent cases involving insurance claims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25873/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that it is the Garda Commissioner who is solely responsible for organisational matters, such as the establishment of individual Garda units, the remits of any such units, and the resourcing of units.
The Commissioner is of the view that a Divisional focus on insurance fraud is preferable to the establishment of a centralised investigation unit. This approach is aligned with the Divisional-focussed Garda model. It is the intention of the Commissioner that the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) will guide Divisions and provide training in the investigation of insurance fraud.
The Deputy will be aware that the Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG) specifically called for An Garda Síochána to explore the potential for further cooperation between it and the insurance sector in relation to insurance fraud investigation. An industry-funded Garda insurance fraud unit was one option considered in this regard. While the Commissioner has indicated that he does not support industry funding of Garda units, he is open to considering other industry-funded proposals to combat insurance fraud, for example, IT projects and/or the appointment of analysts.