Deering calls for additional resources to deal with Garda vetting backlog.

23rd July, 2013


Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has called for additional resources to be dedicated to dealing with the Garda vetting backlog. The average time for Garda vetting is 12 to 14 weeks and this is causing significant delays for professional bodies and voluntary organisations whose staff must receive Garda clearance.  Deputy Deering who recently raised the topic in a Topical Issue Debate, was speaking in Dáil Eireann this week.

“The Garda Vetting Unit processed about 328,000 applications in 2012 but I am concerned that the time it takes to receive clearance is causing significant problems. The average time for Garda clearance or vetting is 12 to 14 weeks, which is due to shortage in staff and this is causing difficulties for professional and voluntary bodies whose staff are interacting with children and therefore must be vetted.

“People that need to be vetted people include professional and volunteer sports coaches people working in agencies that work with children or vulnerable people. For example, if someone is working on a summer job scheme that involves interaction with young people, then that person must receive Garda clearance. The time required to vet applicants has caused people to relinquish promised positions because of the delay in getting their vetting processed.

“The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, is acutely aware of these issues. I was relieved to receive an update from him regarding the redeployment of a total of 54 civilian staff members – 23 from the Department of Agriculture and 31 from other areas of the public service – to the Vetting Unit to help combat delays. These staff members are currently undergoing training with the first cohort due to have completed their training around now and the last by mid-September.

“The Minister is confident that once these staff members are fully trained, there will be a positive impact on waiting times for vetting applications. The employment of extra staff in the Unit has previously resulted in the processing time being reduced to between three and four weeks. The Department is also examining the scope for the redeployment of further personnel from within the public service to the Unit.