124. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the reason she has not yet signed the Commencement Order to give effect to sections 10 to 13, inclusive, and 17, 39, 40, 41 and 42 of the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 which would enable senior promotions in An Garda Síochána to be decided upon by the Policing Authority; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12636/16]


Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The sections to which the Deputy refers contain provisions essentially enabling the Policing Authority to appoint and remove persons from positions in An Garda Síochána.
Section 17 envisages that the Authority will assume certain functions in relation to the civilian staff of An Garda Síochána, including the appointment by the Authority of persons to grades that are equivalent to or above that of chief superintendent. Commencement of this section was held over pending the completion of the recent open recruitment competition for the post of the Chief Administrative Officer in An Garda Síochána, the arrangements for which had been in train before the establishment of the Authority on 1 January 2016.
I am happy to inform the Deputy that I have recently signed the Order commencing section 17 with effect from 31 May 2016. This will enable the Authority to appoint the successful candidate and assume its other functions in relation to the civilian staff of An Garda Síochána.
Sections 10, 11 and 13 contain provisions governing the removal of the Garda Commissioner, Deputy Garda Commissioners, Assistant Garda Commissioners, chief superintendents and superintendents, including the procedures to be followed before such removal.
Section 12 deals with the appointment by the Authority of persons to the ranks of Assistant Garda Commissioner, chief superintendent and superintendent.
Sections 39 to 42 deal with appointments and secondments between the PSNI and An Garda Síochána and the procedures to deal with disciplinary matters in relation to persons comprehended by those sections.
The commencement of these sections, other than section 17, is dependent on the regulations governing promotion and discipline in An Garda Síochána being amended to reflect the envisaged role for the Authority.
In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner and the Policing Authority must be consulted on any proposed changes to these regulations. In addition, the Garda representative bodies must be consulted in accordance with the Garda Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme.
Work on the preparation of the proposed regulation changes is being expedited in my Department with a view to the appointment function being transferred as quickly as possible and I would hope that this work will be completed in July. In relation to the role envisaged for the Authority in the removal process, I hope that the necessary preparatory work can be completed this year.