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Josephine Feehily nominated as first Chairperson-designate of independent Policing Authority



· Minister Fitzgerald says Ms. Feehily will “bring a wealth of experience and competences to her new independent role leading the public oversight of policing in Ireland” and is “ideally-placed to oversee and support the modernisation and upgrading of systems which is now required in An Garda Síochána.”

· Outgoing Chairman of Revenue Commissioners has 41 years of experience working in large organisations both in Ireland and internationally.

· Chairperson-designate to be involved in final rounds of the recruitment process of a new Garda Commissioner.

Thursday, 13 November 2014
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice & Equality, has today announced that the Government has decided to nominate Ms. Josephine Feehily as the first Chairperson-designate of the planned new independent Policing Authority.

Ms Feehily was nominated by Government having previously applied for the position by way of an open ‘expressions of interest’ process administered by the Public Appointments Service. The appointment will be subject to a statutory process once the legislation to establish the Policing Authority is fully enacted.

Ms. Feehily has 41 years of experience working in large organisations both in Ireland and at international level. Ms. Feehily has served as Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners for the past 16 years and will complete her posting as head of the Revenue Commissioners in January. Ms. Feehily has also served as Chair of the 179-nation World Customs Organisation and as Chair of the OECD Forum on Tax Administration.

Commenting on the nomination, Minister Fitzgerald stated: “Josephine Feehily is a woman of unimpeachable integrity and unquestioned ability. She will bring a wealth of experience and competences, including in the area of investigations, to her new independent role leading the public oversight of policing in Ireland.”

“With 41 years of invaluable experience of public service leadership, governance and change management, Josephine will also be ideally placed to oversee and support the reform, modernisation of systems and upgrading of technology which is now required in An Garda Síochána.”

Commenting on the planned new Policing Authority, Minister Fitzgerald stated:“The planned establishment of an independent Policing Authority represents one of the most far reaching reforms of An Garda Síochána since the foundation of the State and is a major element of the comprehensive programme of justice reform which is being delivered by the Government.

“The new independent Policing Authority will bring a further layer of public accountability to the administration of policing services, while it will also provide a new engine to drive reforms of the policing system and practices to ensure that An Garda Síochána is fit to meet the ongoing and emerging challenges of 21st century policing.”

The Chairperson-designate will play an active role in advising Government on the transition to and establishment of the new Policing Authority. Minister Fitzgerald last week published the General Scheme of the Garda Síochána (Amendment) Bill 2014 which provides for the establishment of the new independent Policing Authority.

The Minister noted that one of the first tasks of the new Chairperson-designate will be to take part in the final rounds of the recruitment process of a new Garda Commissioner.

Minister Fitzgerald added that “the planned new Policing Authority will play a key role in implementation of Garda reforms recommended by the Garda Inspectorate in its comprehensive and highly challenging report on crime investigation published earlier this week.”

“Ahead of the formal establishment of the Policing Authority, I intend holding discussions with the Chairman-designate on the establishment of an effective implementation framework to oversee delivery of reforms in An Garda Síochána along the lines recommended by the Inspectorate.”

Commenting on her appointment, Ms. Feehily stated: “The establishment of the Policing Authority is a most significant and important reform for the State. I am honoured by the confidence shown in me by the Minister and the Government and look forward to working with stakeholders to advance the challenges and opportunities which the role will bring when I complete my term as Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners.”

Note for Editors:

CV of Ms. Josephine Feehily:

Education: M. Sc in Public Management, Trinity College
National Diploma in Personnel Management, National College of Ireland

Current Position since 13 March 2008
Chairman, Office of the Revenue Commissioners – the Irish Tax and Customs Administration
This is an executive chairman position leading an organisation of some 6,500 staff
Previous position from June 1998
Commissioner, Office of the Revenue Commissioners, with a range of executive responsibilities
Previous position from October 1992
Assistant Secretary, Office of the Revenue Commissioners with responsibilities including Human Resources, Strategic Planning and Organisation Development, and Accountant General of Revenue.

Previous roles at various grades in the Department of Social Protection, including Personnel Officer and Press and Information Officer. Helped establish the Pensions Board as a new regulatory authority while on secondment for one year in the role of Secretary to the Board.

Proposed new Policing Authority:

· The new Authority will be tasked with holding the Garda Commissioner to account in relation to all policing services while developing a key role in the future appointment of senior Garda management.
· As national security is a vital function of Government, it is proposed that under the new oversight arrangements the Garda Commissioner will report to the Policing Authority in respect of policing matters and to the Minister for Justice in relation to security matters.
· The Authority will comprise a chairperson and 8 ordinary members. These ordinary members will be appointed by the Government following the holding of a selection competition run by the Public Appointments Service (PAS). A resolution of both Houses of the Oireachtas agreeing to the appointments is required.
· The Authority will approve a three year Strategy Statement and Annual Policing Plan submitted by the Commissioner.
· The Authority will establish and publish, within 12 months, a code of ethics that includes standards of conduct and practice for members of the Garda Síochána.
· The Authority will hold at least quarterly meetings in public.
· The Authority will be accountable to the Public Accounts Committee and to other Committees of the Oireachtas.