EU-wide tender issued for investigators to assist with public interest investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
EU-wide tender issued for investigators to assist with public interest investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
The Office of Government Procurement has issued an EU-wide tender, published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the eTenders website, seeking investigators to assist with a public interest investigation underway by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
Former Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter requested GSOC to open this investigation, under s.102(5) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, in January 2014. It was to look into allegations made about wrongful cancellation, by members of the Garda Síochána, of Fixed Charge Penalty Notices.
GSOC’s role is to investigate activity during the time period covered by the allegations (2009-2012), to establish if there were irregularities in the cancellation of notices, i.e. evidence of criminal offences or breaches of discipline.
An update on progress to date is as follows:
- In May 2014, GSOC delivered a business case to the Department of Justice and Equality with an estimate of the resources required to undertake this work and, in September 2014, the Minister for Justice confirmed allocation to GSOC of the €1 million requested.
- Also in September 2014, Minister for Justice and Equality Fitzgerald made a request to GSOC to investigate a second time period, subject of further allegations (June – September 2014 – the period during which the new policies and procedures implemented by the Garda Commissioner were in operation).
- In October 2014, sanction was received from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to hire temporary investigators for the initial investigation and the procurement process was begun with the Office of Government Procurement.
- By February 2015, the first (analytical) phase of the initial investigation was completed. This included considerable analytical work on a total dataset of 1.6 million notices issued; interviews; and review of materials from previous related investigations. It provided a road-map for the next phase of the investigation.
- In July 2015, the OGP published a tender for investigative support, required for this phase, on the eTenders website. No responses met the qualification criteria. The process to initiate a second tender, on an EU-wide scale, was begun. This second tender was issued yesterday, 28 January 2016.
Once the required investigative support is in place, the next phase of the investigation will commence.