36. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether funding issues may be impeding the ability of GSOC to deal with protected disclosures in an expedient and timely manner; if he has considered increasing the budget for GSOC; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4388/19]
Deputy Charles Flanagan: I acknowledge the concerns of Deputy Wallace and others in that regard. It is essential that we ensure that the independent complaints body, GSOC, is properly and adequately funded. Resources and funding are the matter of ongoing review. I acknowledge the provision of an extra allocation of funds.
GSOC has authority to appoint its own officers under delegated sanction. Sanction was provided in November last for an additional 42 staff members, five of whom were to be deployed to a dedicated disclosures unit. This would increase the unit's active staffing to ten full-time members. At no time has GSOC had as much access to resourcing or staffing. These additions reflect the important work undertaken by the commission and the need for it to be properly resourced in order to ensure public confidence in the independent role that it plays.