492. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to allocate additional resources to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, in response to the increase in referrals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20239/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is an independent statutory body established under the Garda Síochána Act 2005. The objectives, functions and powers of GSOC are governed by the 2005 Act.
Resources and funding are kept under continuing review to ensure that GSOC is enabled to continue to operate effectively and efficiently and in accordance with its statutory remit. The last budget granted GSOC an increase of €1 million in their allocation for 2015 to resource the organisation's activities. Arrangements have been put in place for a recruitment campaign for additional staff.
More generally, it is vital that the public has strong confidence in the Garda Síochána and the system of oversight of the Garda Síochána. This Government is, at present, implementing a comprehensive programme of reform in the areas of policing and justice. As part of the programme of change, the Garda Síochána (Amendment) Act 2015, which is fully in force, strengthens and clarifies the remit and capacity of GSOC, and I will keep under review the case for further change.