Garda E-Vetting System to alleviate waiting times – Breen

July 4th, 2013 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen said today that the introduction of an e-vetting system should help to alleviate Garda Vetting waiting times.

Deputy Breen had expressed his concerns at the impact that the delays in Garda vetting were having for many employers, community and voluntary organisations to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter T.D.

The Garda Central Vetting Unit processed around 328,000 vetting applications for 20,000 organisations in 2012 and the average waiting time is approximately 12 weeks from the date of receipt of the application.

“Minister Shatter has undertaken an in-depth review of the current system and I would like to acknowledge his efforts in reforming the current system. The existing staffing resources of 1 Superintendent, 2 Sergeants and approximately 113 civilian personnel, has been supplemented by 23 staff who have been transferred from the Department of Agriculture Offices, 9 personnel who were allocated on the 13th May 2013 and additional 6 staff who took up their positions on the 31st May 2013 and further deployments may also be considered.

The introduction of an e-vetting system would allow applications to be submitted electronically through a secure web service and it would also allow for the checking and monitoring of those applications.

I understand that work is well underway developing this system and such a system will deliver a faster, more effective and efficient vetting system, which should help to alleviate the delays which many employers, community and voluntary organisations are experiencing here in Clare and I would hope that the new system can be put in place as soon as possible.

ENDS.

Reply received from the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter T.D.

Dear Pat,

I refer to your email of 30 May 2013 regarding Garda vetting.

The Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) provides employment vetting for
approximately 20,000 organisations in Ireland, registered with the Unit for
this purpose, which employ personnel to work in a full-time, part time,
voluntary or student capacity with children and / or vulnerable adults. The
Unit processed approximately 328,000 vetting applications on behalf of
these organisations in 2012.

The current average processing time for applications is approximately 12
weeks from date of receipt. However, seasonal fluctuations and the
necessity to seek additional information on particular applications can
result in this processing time being exceeded on occasion. All
organisations registered for Garda Vetting are aware of the processing
time-frames for the receipt of Garda vetting and have been advised to
factor this into their recruitment and selection process.

I remain in ongoing contact with the Garda Commissioner as to how best the
service can continue to be delivered and improved upon, while at all times
protecting the integrity of the process. Clearly, the protection of
children and vulnerable adults is the primary objective of the Garda
Central Vetting Unit and this must remain the case.

The possibility of introducing an e-vetting system has been assessed and
the Garda authorities are now in the process of developing a system which
will enable vetting applications to be submitted electronically through a
secure web service. In addition, the system will facilitate the checking
and monitoring of applications. The relevant work is being pursued on a
priority basis and it will be completed as quickly as possible.

The Garda Commissioner has informed me that there are currently 1
Superintendent, 2 Sergeants and approximately 113 civilian personnel
assigned to the Garda Central Vetting Unit. This civilian complement
includes 23 staff recently transferred from Department of Agriculture who
are undergoing the required training course. A further 9 personnel were
allocated to the GCVU on 13th May 2013 and an additional 6 will take up
positions on the 31st May 2013. When these staff have been fully trained on
the vetting process I expect there will be a positive effect on vetting
times. My Department is also examining the scope for the redeployment of
additional personnel from within the public service to the Unit.

Yours sincerely,

_______________
Alan Shatter, T.D.,
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence