107. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will immediately publish all submissions received by her Department in relation to the new policing authority, in order that Oireachtas Members can consider them, and to assist with potential amendments to the Bill, as it moves through the Houses of the Oireachtas. [19811/15]
Deputy Frances Fitzgerald: The Deputy's question relates to submissions received. I am making arrangements for all submissions to be published in the next couple of days. I will put all the relevant material - there is a lot of it - on the Department's website,
www.justice.ie. They were taken into account in the preparation of the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015, which I published last week. The new Bill provides for the establishment of the independent policing authority to oversee the performance of the policing functions of An Garda Síochána and it is at the core of our reforms in the justice area. It is a fundamental reform of policing oversight in Ireland. It is the most far-reaching reform of An Garda Síochána since the foundation of the State.
As we will be discussing in the House, it allows a new independent forum for the public oversight of policing services in Ireland. In particular, under the new arrangements senior gardaí will report to the authority on the performance of policing services, including by way of public meetings. The authority can provide a key role in being an engine to drive reforms of the policing system and practices to ensure that An Garda Síochána is fit to meet the demands of 21st century policing.
The new Bill is awaiting Second Stage in the Seanad and I look forward to its passage through the Houses. Approximately 30 submissions were received from a wide range of groups, including the Deputy's party. They will all be on the website in the next few days.