AGSI Reject Statement by Minister Fitzgerald regarding amendment of Public Disclosures Bill
Thursday 15th May 2014
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) at its National Executive meeting today (Thursday 15th May 2014) has rejected the statement from Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence Frances Fitzgerald in relation to amending the Public Disclosures Bill which would enable Garda whistleblowers to report their concerns to GSOC for ‘independent investigation’.
AGSI General Secretary John Redmond stated this afternoon, “The question arises as to how seriously the Minister actually is about this whole matter in An Garda Síochána?
“AGSI has stated widely that to make such an appointment will not add any credibility to the whistleblowing process. On the contrary, many of the men and women who are Sergeants and Inspectors have grave concerns about having to report to the GSOC, given that that very body investigates complaints and allegations against those very members.”
Mr. Redmond continued, “Further to that, the Cooke Report has not been published into the Bugging of the GSOC. Can people have confidence in reporting and discussing such issues in GSOC when that office may well have been bugged or may be bugged into the future?”
As late as yesterday at 3.00pm, the AGSI’s General Secretary in answering questions at the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, proposed that GSOC should not be appointed as confidential recipient of information regarding whistleblowing for the reasons stated here.
The AGSI is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Fitzgerald to inform her of the concerns of its members.