Wednesday, 19 May 1971
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Desmond: asked the Minister for Justice the rank of Garda officer usually responsible for authorising area overtime in the greater Dublin area; if he is aware of complaints of delays of up to three months in the payment of overtime; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Overtime is authorised where it is necessary for the performance of essential police duties, and, in accordance with the recommendations of the Conroy Commission, it is compensated for by time-off within three months where this is practicable.
It is only where it is not practicable to allow time-off that the question of payment arises. Before a claim for overtime payment is forwarded to my Department it must be passed as correct by the appropriate Garda officer. Before doing so, the officer must, of course, satisfy himself that the claim is in order and, understandably, this results in some claims being queried.
Mr. Desmond: Is the Minister satisfied that current procedures are effective and are likely to reduce the friction that has developed and delays which, undoubtedly, have occurred? Is he satisfied that the new steps now being taken by the Garda Commissioner will prove satisfactory?
Mr. Desmond: There may be cases where, for example, an inspector may authorise overtime and where subsequently this may be queried by a superintendent. This could lead to a rather tortuous process of cross-confirmation  and verification where authorised overtime takes place and members of the Force may become greatly irritated by the procedure adopted. Could the Minister adopt a more straightforward procedure rather than to have high ranking Garda officers involved in checking back along the line in respect of overtime claims? While I would not say that this could prove to be embarrassing, it might very well prove irritating to a local officer.
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