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.)
  • Can GSOC investigate conduct of off-duty or retired gardaí?

    Sometimes. A complaint against a garda member can be admitted if it concerns conduct off-duty which would be likely to bring discredit on the Garda Síochána. Investigations following referral, or initiated in the public interest, can look into the conduct of off-duty gardaí. Read More
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. Read More
  • Can I make a complaint to GSOC about garda misconduct myself?

    Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, a Garda member cannot make a complaint about Garda behaviour in the same way that a member of the public can. However, under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, gardaí and others working for the Garda Síochána may now confidentially disclose allegations of wrongdoings within the Garda Síochána, to a member of the Ombudsman Commission. Find out more by clicking on Protected Disclosures. 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
  • Can I make a complaint about a GSOC staff member?

    Yes. We have a complaints process, whereby complaints about our staff are handled in line with the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. This Code sets out the standards required by all civil servants, including GSOC staff. Read More
  • Can GSOC get the Garda Síochána to return my property?

    No. If your property is part of a Garda investigation, it will be held until the investigation is complete. Then you must ask the Garda Síochána for it back directly. If you cannot get your property back at that stage, GSOC can look into whether any gardaí were in breach of discipline for not returning it. However, while this could result in disciplinary action against a garda, it is not guaranteed to get you your property back. Read More