The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is an independent statutory body, established under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and set up in 2007. It replaced the Garda Síochána Complaints Board. Its mission is to provide efficient, fair and independent oversight of policing in Ireland.
GSOC’s primary responsibility is to deal with complaints made by members of the public concerning the conduct of members of the Garda Síochána. There are several different ways these may be dealt with – see Complaint Investigation Types for detail on this.
GSOC has several other responsibilities unrelated to complaints. These are:
Our Annual Reports each year detail the amount of activity undertaken by the organisation in the previous year in relation to these responsibilities.
The Garda Síochána Act 2005 (section 65) provides for three Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commissioners, appointed by the President on the nomination of Government and the passage of resolutions by the Oireachtas. One of the Commissioners is appointed as Chairperson. A Commissioner’s term of office is 3-6 years and he/she may be reappointed for a second term (section 66). The Act allows for the Commission to act normally with one or more vacancies among its members. The Commission is the equivalent of the Board of GSOC and holds monthly Commission meetings. The Commission operates under the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Agencies.
The organisation also has a Director of Administration and a Director of Investigations.
At the start of 2016, the organisation had 77 staff. 20 are employed in the Administration Directorate and 57 in the Operations Directorate. Additional to this are the three Commissioners (two in office and one vacant position), a Superintendent seconded from An Garda Síochána and two ICT contractors.
Recruitment is done via the Public Appointments Service (PAS). Staff grades and salary scales are governed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (and can be seen in DPER Circular 17, 2015). See careers for information on working for GSOC.