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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Policing Authority?

The Policing Authority is an independent body which provides oversight of the provision of policing services in Ireland by the Garda Síochána.


When was it set up?

The Authority was established by the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015, which completed its passage through both Houses of the Oireachtas on 16 December 2015. The legislation sets out the functions of the Authority and can be viewed here.

The Authority was formally established on 1 January 2016.

Who are the members of the Authority?

The legislation provides for a chairperson and 8 ordinary members of the Authority.

Details of the members can be viewed here.

How are the members of the Police Authority chosen?

Members of the Authority are appointed by the Government following an open selection process run by the Public Appointments Service.

Where are the offices of the Authority?

The offices of the Policing Authority are at 90 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 N7CV.

Is the Policing Authority independent?

Yes. The Policing Authority is established as a statutorily independent body and it is independent in the performance of its functions under the legislation.

The Authority is not part of the Garda Síochána nor of the Department of Justice and Equality.

Its members were appointed by the Government following an open selection process conducted by the Public Appointments Service.

It operates under a financial provision voted by the Dáil annually, for which the Chief Executive is accountable to the Public Accounts Committee.

What is the Policing Authority’s role in respect of complaints?

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission deals with complaints about the conduct of members of the Garda Síochána.

The Policing Authority does not deal with complaints. However, under the legislation enacted, it has responsibility to keep itself generally informed about such complaints – see below.

What is the difference between the Policing Authority and GSOC?

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was set up in 2007 to provide efficient, fair and independent oversight of policing in Ireland. Its vision is to be a driver of ever-improving police accountability and its principal role is to deal with complaints about the conduct of members of the Garda Síochána. Visit the GSOC website www.gardaombudsman.ie/

The Policing Authority does not deal with complaints against individual members of An Garda Síochána. Instead its role is to monitor the performance of the policing services provided by the Gardaí as a whole, particularly in terms of ensuring that the resources invested are used to provide an effective, efficient police service. This will of course include a role in monitoring complaints received with a view to identifying trends and addressing issues of concern.


What is the difference between the Policing Authority and the Garda Inspectorate?

The Garda Síochána Inspectorate was established in 2006 as an independent statutory body with the objective of ensuring that the resources available to the Garda Síochána are used to achieve and maintain the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness in its operation and administration, as measured by reference to the best standards of comparable police services. It carries out its functions by undertaking inspections in relation to any particular aspects of the operation and administration of the Garda Síochána, as requested to do so by the Minister and reporting on and providing advice to the Minister with regard to best policing practice as required. Visit the Garda Síochána Inspectorate website www.gsinsp.ie/

The Policing Authority does not have an inspection role. The Authority will work closely with the Inspectorate in keeping itself informed. It can ask the Inspectorate to carry out an inspection or inquiry on a particular matter. It is expected that the Authority will monitor and assess the response of An Garda Síochána to recommendations made by the Inspectorate.

The Policing Authority, the Garda Inspectorate, and GSOC together provide a range of functions which aim to provide a better policing service for the people of Ireland. The respective functions of the three agencies are outlined here (As Gaeilge).