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)
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
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.
What we've done so far
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).