Tuesday, 13 November 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
141. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the level at which promotional appointments within the gardaí are made by the Garda authorities; the appointments which are made at Government level; his views on whether the system is satisfactory; his plans to set up a commission to make these appointments in place of the system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27728/01]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The Garda Síochána (Promotion) Regulations, 1987, (S.I. No. 39 of 1987) and the Garda Síochána (Promotion) (Amendment) Regulations, 1993, (S.I. No. 27 of 1993) govern the promotion to all ranks up to chief superintendent, while the Garda Síochána (Promotion) (Amendment) Regulations, 2001,  (S.I. No. 392 of 2001) govern the promotion to the rank of assistant commissioner. The position with regard to the different ranks is as follows. Promotion to the ranks of sergeant and inspector is made by the Commissioner. The selection of members for promotion to the ranks of sergeant or inspector is made by means of a competition held by an interview board which includes an interview with each candidate in the competition at a regional interview board followed by an interview with successful candidates at a central interview board. To be eligible to be a candidate for promotion to sergeant or inspector members must have passed the written examination instituted and conducted by the Commissioner in police studies known as the sergeant's promotion examination or the inspector's promotion examination as appropriate.
Promotion to the ranks of superintendent and chief superintendent is made by the Government on the basis of a recommendation made by the Commissioner. The selection of members for promotion to the rank of superintendent and chief superintendent is made by means of a competition held by an interview board which includes an interview with each candidate in the competition. Promotion to the rank of assistant commissioner is made by the Government on the recommendation of an interview board comprising the Commissioner, who will chair the interview board, a deputy commissioner, a person nominated by the Top Level Appointment's Committee and a person nominated by the Civil Service Commission. The selection process which was recently agreed at the Garda Conciliation Council provides for an interview with each candidate based on stated core competencies. Promotion to the ranks of deputy Commissioner and Commissioner is made by the Government in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of the Police Forces Amalgamation, Act, 1925 (No. 7 of 1925).
In 1999, a firm of consultants completed a review of the current promotion system for all ranks up to and including chief superintendents. The recommendations contained in their report were approved by the Promotion Advisory Council, which advises the commissioner in relation to promotion systems and procedures. Those recommendations are currently being developed and implemented. It will be necessary to amend the regulations to give affect to some of those recommendations and I will be bringing proposals in this regard to Government in the near future.
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