Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Garda Overtime.

Wednesday, 19 May 1971

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 253 No. 13

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[1999]73.

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry 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.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  Apart from exceptional circumstances, it is the superintendent of the district concerned who has the responsibility of authorising overtime.

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.

The commissioner has informed me that he is taking special steps to speed up payment for overtime, where payment is due.

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry 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. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  I think they will, particularly as they include the appointment of a chief superintendent to look into the question of overtime generally.

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry 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 [2000] 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.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  It is the local district officer who has to check these claims and it is only in exceptional circumstances that there is any undue delay.


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