How is Informal Resolution done?


It is a means of resolving situations more quickly and effectively and without the need for a formal investigation under the Discipline Regulations. Time taken to close these cases is about one-third of the time taken to close formal disciplinary investigations.

The process involves a GSOC Officer engaging with you and with the complainant by telephone. There are no face-to-face meetings.

The objective is that, by the end of the process, each party better understands the other’s point of view and/or the circumstances which led to the incident giving rise to the complaint. Often, to know that an issue that upset or bothered them was brought to your attention, is enough for a complainant to consider the matter resolved. Sometimes, clarification of a misunderstanding, by one or both people, can lead to resolution of the issue.

A case is considered resolved when both parties agree that no further action is necessary.

If a resolution cannot be reached, the case may be escalated to a formal investigation under the Garda Síochána Discipline Regulations 2007, or it may be closed, if it is unlikely that such an investigation could realistically make a finding one way or the other. Should a disciplinary investigation be conducted, none of the confidential information obtained after consent to the Informal Resolution process may be used.

Consent of both parties is required for Informal Resolution.

These are the advantages for gardaí:

  • Informal resolution (IR) is a means of resolving situations more quickly and effectively, without an official disciplinary process.
  • Consent to this process is not taken as an admission of any wrongdoing.
  • All conversations had with you after consent are confidential and information obtained may not be used outside the IR process.
  • If the complaint can be resolved informally, the matter is not recorded (GSOC advises An Garda Síochána of the resolution and to “expunge” any record of the complaint, in compliance with section 90(6) of the Act.)
  • What information can GSOC disclose about its investigations

    In deciding what and to whom certain information is disclosed, GSOC must balance its confidentiality and privacy obligations with its duty to be transparent and open in its work. People directly involved in GSOC investigations—including the people who make complaints and the gardaí who are the subject of investigations—have a legal right to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation which relates to them (click below for more information). Read More
  • How will I be notified of a complaint made against me?

    Depending on whether the complaint is admissible or inadmissible, and depending on how it is to be dealt with if it is admissible, there are different notification processes set out in the Act. Read More
  • Can GSOC prosecute or impose penalties or sanctions?

    No, GSOC is an investigative agency only. Following a criminal investigation by GSOC, the DPP takes a decision based on the investigation file whether to prosecute or not. Following disciplinary investigations, the Garda Commissioner takes decisions on any appropriate sanctions or actions. Read More
  • If GSOC wants to interview me, what can I expect?

    GSOC investigators will make every reasonable effort to accommodate gardaí they need to interview, in terms of date, time and location. Read More
  • What powers do GSOC officers have?

    In criminal investigations, GSOC officers have all the powers, immunities and privileges conferred on, and all the duties imposed on, any member of the Garda Síochána. However, unlike members of the Garda Síochána. Read More
  • How long do complaint investigations typically take?

    The time taken to close an investigation depends on the level of complexity of the case, but to get an indicator, you can look in the Publications section of the website to find the median time taken to close investigations by type, per quarter. Read More