What We Do

The primary remit of the Authority is to oversee the performance of the Garda Síochána in delivering policing services. We do this in a number of ways which are described below.

 

Oversight of Policing

The main function of the Policing Authority is to oversee the performance of the Garda Síochána in the provision of policing services. We do this in a number of ways, including by:

  • Approving the three year Garda Síochána Strategy Statement
  • Setting annual Policing Priorities and performance targets for the Garda Síochána
  • Approving the Annual Policing Plan
  • Holding monthly meetings with the Garda Commissioner, including meetings in public at least four times each year, which are live streamed and are available to broadcast by the media, as required by statute. 
  • Building independent sources of evidence to assess performance through engagement with a broad range of stakeholders
  • Reviewing arrangements and mechanisms within the Garda Síochána for
    • Corporate governance
    • Recruitment, training and development
    • Performance measurement and accountability 
    • Management and deployment of resources
  • Reporting and providing advice to the Minister for Justice and Equality arising from the Authority’s functions and on request

In 2016 the Authority developed a Code of Ethics for the Garda Síochána which sets standards of conduct and practice for members of the Garda Síochána. The Authority continues to oversee the embedding of the Code on an ongoing basis as part of its oversight activities- view Code of Ethics (pdf)

 

Appointments

The Authority undertakes a range of activities relating to the selection and appointment of personnel in the Garda Síochána, including:

  • Nominating persons for appointment by the Government to the positions of Garda Commissioner and Deputy Garda Commissioner
  • Undertaking selection competitions for appointments to the senior ranks of Assistant Commissioner, Chief Superintendent and Superintendent 
  • Making appointments to these senior ranks and equivalent senior Garda staff positions
  • Approving the complement of Garda staff 
  • Overseeing a range of other functions relating to workforce planning, recruitment, promotion and training by the Garda Síochána.


Previously these functions were performed by the Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice and Equality.

 

Public Awareness and Engagement

The Policing Authority places a high value on transparency to promote awareness of policing performance and related issues in Irish society including to the general public and other interested parties. It communicates and engages with stakeholders to learn about and gain feedback about expectations and experiences which inform its work by:  

  • Publishing agendas and minutes of Authority meetings on our website  
  • Holding meetings and other events in public 
  • Holding public consultations with stakeholders and the general public  
  • Engaging directly with key stakeholders such as Joint Policing Committees and civil society  
  • Publishing reports and other material on our website

 

Research

An important objective of the Policing Authority is to add to the body of knowledge in respect of policing in Ireland, to identify best practice, and to contribute to national and international benchmarking including by:

  • Undertaking in-house research to support the work of the Executive, the Authority and its Committees in achieving the organisation’s statutory functions and corporate priorities
  • Commissioning or assisting in research projects in respect of matters relating to policing services
  • Launching a Research Bursary, with up to €25,000 being made available in 2019 to fund a project or projects covering the research themes selected by the Authority
  • Building networks with others in the policing and oversight arenas, nationally and internationally, including oversight bodies, academic and research institutions, and other stakeholders.

 

Visit the Remit of the Policing Authority page for further details about the full functions of the Authority.

 

Some of the key milstones can be viewed below:

What we've done so far

February 2019

Policing Authority Strategy Statement 2019-2021 published

Research networking event held

Launch of the first Policing Authority Research Bursary

January 2019

Review of 2018 published

November 2018

Panel established for appointments to the rank of Chief Superintendent in the Garda Síochána

October 2018

Made a submission to the Department of Justice and Equality on the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland

September 2018

Sixth quarterly report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate in “Changing Policing in Ireland”

August 2018

Fifth quarterly report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate in “Changing Policing in Ireland”

Published Mid-Year Assessment on Policing Performance 2018

July 2018

National meeting with the Chairs of the Joint Policing Committee

Panel established for appointments to the rank of Superintendent in the Garda Síochána

Fourth Report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations in the Interim Internal Audit Report in relation to the Garda Training College

June 2018

Nominated person for appointment by Government to the position of Commissioner of the Garda Síochána

Fifth quarterly report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate in “Changing Policing in Ireland”

May 2018

Hosted a live streamed discussion event on the report of the Independent Culture Audit of the Garda Síochána

March 2018

Submitted Annual Report for 2017 to the Minister for Justice and Equality

January 2018

Submitted a report to the Minister for Justice and Equality on the effectiveness of the Authority and the adequacy of its functions as required by legislation

Made a submission to the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland

Third Report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations in the Interim Internal Audit Report in relation to the Garda Training College

December 2017

Fourth quarterly report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate in “Changing Policing in Ireland”

November 2017

First appointment by the Authority of a PSNI candidate to the rank of Superintendent in the Garda Síochána

October 2017

Report published on the Review of Matters Related to Mandatory Intoxicant Testing and the Incorrect Issuing of Summonses by the Garda Síochána Instead of Fixed Charged Notices

Report to the Minister on the Garda Síochána response to the Report of the Fennelly Commission of Investigation

Second Report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations in the Interim Internal Audit Report in relation to the Garda Training College

July 2017

Third Quarterly Report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate in “Changing Policing in Ireland”

Report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations in the Interim Internal Audit Report in relation to the Garda Training College

National meeting with the Chairs of the Joint Policing Committees

Panel established for appointments to the rank of Superintendent in the Garda Síochána and first appointments made of Chief Superintendents and Superintendents

June 2017

Panel established for appointments  to the rank of Chief Superintendent in the Garda Síochána

April 2017

Second Quarterly Report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate in “Changing Policing in Ireland”

Publication of the first Annual Report of the Authority for 2016

Submission to the Garda Inspectorate on entry routes to the Garda Síochána

Policing Authority Annual Report 2016 published

March 2017

First Panel established for appointments  to the rank of Assistant Commissioner in the Garda Síochána and first appointment made by the Authority

January 2017

First Quarterly Report to the Minister on the implementation of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate in “Changing Policing in Ireland”

Functions relating to Garda Appointments commenced and first Assistant Commissioner competition advertised

December 2016

Code of Ethics for the Garda Síochána established

November 2016

Report on the Garda Síochána Protected Disclosures Policy sent to the Minister and published

Policing Plan 2017 sent to the Minister for consent

October 2016

Policing Priorities for 2017 submitted to the Minister for approval

September 2016

National consultation event in relation to the development of the Code of Ethics

July 2016

Policing Authority Strategy Statement 2016 – 2018 published

Garda Síochána Strategy Statement 2016 – 2018 approved

First national meeting with the Chairs of the Joint Policing Committees

June 2016

Authority makes first senior civilian appointment

April 2016

First meeting with the Garda Commissioner in public

February 2016

First meetings of the Code of Ethics Committee, the Appointments Committee, and the Policing Strategy and Performance Committee

January 2016

The Policing Authority established and holds its first meeting

Other Policing Oversight Organisations

A number of other organisations have a role in other aspects of policing oversight, as follows:

  • GSOC deal with complaints from members of the public concerning the  conduct of members of the Garda Síochána
  • The Garda Síochána Inspectorate carries out inspections or enquiries on particular aspects of the operation and administration of the Garda Síochána

The Authority does not have any role in dealing with individual complaints. It does, however, keep itself generally informed about complaints made and the application of the disciplinary Regulations.

Information on the differences between functions of the Policing Authority, GSOC and the Garda Inspectorate are outlined in “Working together towards better policing for Ireland” - The role of the Garda Inspectorate, GSOC and the Policing Authority (pdf).