The Government has begun the recruitment process for a new Police Ombudsman under new policing legislation recently approved by the Oireachtas.
The competition will be conducted by the Public Appointments Service.
Under the Policing, Security and Community Safety Act 2024, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) will be reconstituted as ‘Fiosrú’ when the act is commenced later this year.
The current three-commissioner model will be replaced by a single head of the organisation, the Police Ombudsman, supported by a deputy ombudsman and a chief executive officer.
The legislation expands the remit of Fiosrú, and overhauls its processes and procedures.
All complaints, other than an agreed list of service-level complaints, will be investigated by Fiosrú.
The Department of Justice says that this will result in a more independent assessment of allegations of Garda wrongdoing.
GSOC currently has around 160 staff, but its chair Rory MacCabe SC told the Public Accounts Committee this week that the new body could need around 200 more staff to deal with its extra work.
Among the functions of the Police Ombudsman are:
- Receiving and investigating complaints from members of the public about garda personnel and other matters referred or notified by the Garda Commissioner, the Policing and Community Safety Authority or the minister for justice,
- Engaging with An Garda Síochána to promote public understanding of the arrangements for handling of complaints suitable for resolution by the gardaí themselves,
- Establishing and maintaining systems and procedures for the receipt and handling of complaints and the conduct of investigations, and
- Keeping the minister informed of matters relevant to the Government’s accountability to the Houses of the Oireachtas.
The closing date for applications is Thursday 29 February (3pm).