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Minister Fitzgerald announces establishment of Review of the Department of Justice and Equality


Independent Review Group to be chaired by Mr. Kevin Toland

Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, has today announced that, in tandem with the wide ranging reforms of the justice system already in train, an Independent Review Group has been established to undertake a review of the Department itself.

The Minister stated: “The Department of Justice and Equality plays an essential role within Government and on behalf of the citizens of Ireland.  It has many strengths across its wide range of functions but there are also areas of its work that require further evaluation and improvement. That is why, as part of our comprehensive response to the Guerin report, the Government decided to establish an independent expert review of the performance, management and administration of the Department.”

Minister Fitzgerald confirmed that she“today secured the Government’s agreement to the appointment of a very experienced and capable membership of the Independent Review Group.”  

The membership of the Group will be as follows:
·        Mr. Kevin Toland, CEO of the Dublin Airport Authority and former CEO of Glanbia, USA; (Chairman)
·        Ms. Kathleen O’Toole, incoming Chief of Police, Seattle and former Chief Inspector, Garda Inspectorate;
·        Mr. David Byrne, SC., former Attorney General and EU Commissioner;
·        Ms. Geraldine Tallon, former Secretary General, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government;
·        Mr. Greg Sparks, Founding Partner, OSM Farrell Grant Sparks;
·        Mr. Pat McLoughlin, CEO of the Irish Payment Services Organisation.

The Minister stated:“The members have a range of experience from the fields of change management, the law, policing, public administration and governance.  They have all worked at the highest levels in their respective fields, both at home and abroad and I am very grateful to each of them for agreeing to undertake this important work.”  

“Each of the Department’s difficult and complex areas of responsibility is directly relevant to the citizen – which is all the more reason to learn wider lessons and ensure the right structures are in place.  These structures will then require sustained and consistent management and governance to ensure they work as they are intended to – for the benefit and protection of citizens.”  

“I am confident that the Group will produce a thoughtful and rigorous report that will provide an important signpost on the path to reform and will enable the Department to build on its considerable strengths and to fully address areas that need improvement.”  

The Minister concluded:“The measures already in train are designed to increase accountability and improve governance – from the key amendments in relation to whistleblowers now being fast tracked in the Protected Disclosures Bill, the holding of an open competition for the post of Garda Commissioner, the conducting of a follow up report to Guerin by the Garda Inspectorate to the strengthening of GSOC’s powers.  The establishment by this Government of an Independent Garda Authority, which is intended to be in operation by the end of the year, will bring about the most fundamental change in governance arrangements for the Garda Síochána since its foundation.  Two separate Commissions of Investigation are to report on a range of connected matters and all of this change is being overseen by the Cabinet Committee on Justice Reform.”  

3 June, 2014.


Note to Editors:

The Group will be asked to report to the Minister by 11 July 2014 on the following Terms of Reference:

The Department of Justice and Equality plays a central role within Government and has responsibility for a wide range of areas of policy, legislation and administration that are essential to the safety, security, prosperity and well-being of the State and all its citizens.

The Government recognises the importance of the work of the Department and values the contribution it has made to Irish society over many years.

In that context, the Government is determined to ensure that lessons are learned from recent events and that the Department retains, develops and enhances the capacity to carry out its responsibilities effectively in the future.

The Independent Review Group has therefore been asked to undertake a comprehensive review of the performance, management and administration of the Department of Justice and Equality.  It will assess and report on:

o        the roles, responsibilities and capabilities of the Department, including concerns in respect of the governance and oversight of external organisations identified particularly in the report of Mr. Sean Guerin, SC;
o        the Department’s performance in discharging its responsibilities, implementing its programmes and achieving its desired strategic outcomes, as set out in its Statement of Strategy;
o        the effectiveness of the Department’s current structure, systems, management and capabilities.

In making its recommendations the Group will have regard to the policy, legal, institutional and resource framework within which the Department works.

It will also draw on international best practice regarding the organisational structures, skills, training and levels required by the Department so that it can fulfil its roles and responsibilities.  The Group may engage additional expertise to help with its work, as it sees fit.

Based on the conclusions and lessons drawn from this assessment, the Group will make recommendations to the Minister.

The Group will provide a report to the Minister for Justice and Equality by July 11th 2014, setting out its findings, conclusions and recommendations, and indicating areas where it feels further work may be required.

Biographies of Review Group members

Mr. Kevin Toland (Chairman)
Kevin Toland became Chief Executive of DAA in January 2013. Prior to joining the company, Kevin was Chief Executive and President of Glanbia USA & Global Nutritionals, based in Chicago, Illinois.  Previous roles at Glanbia, which he joined in 1999, included Group Development Director, Chief Executive of Consumer Foods and Director of Strategy and Marketing.  Before joining Glanbia, Kevin held a number of senior management positions with Coca-Cola Bottlers in Russia and with Grand Metropolitan in Ireland and Central Europe.  He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants and holds a Diploma in Applied Finance from the Irish Management Institute.  Kevin has experience of working with, and leading, a large international company overseas.

Ms. Kathleen O’Toole
Kathleen M. O’Toole was the first Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate from 2006 to 2012.  Prior to her appointment she was the first female police commissioner of Boston, Massachusetts from 2006 to 2006 and served as Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety.  She also served as a member of the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland (Patten Commission) which led to extensive reform of the RUC.  She chaired the Boston Fire Department Review Commission and has served as the joint compliance expert overseeing an agreement between the US Department of Justice and the East Haven Connecticut Police Department.  On May 19, 2014, she was nominated to serve as Chief of the Seattle Police Department.

Mr. David Byrne, SC
Following a career of 30 years practising as a Barrister and Senior Counsel in the Irish and EU Courts, David Byrne was appointed Attorney General in 1997.  Then he became the first EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection in 1999.  David Byrne is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, where he is also a member of the Council.  He is Chancellor emeritus of Dublin City University and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Law from NUI.  Currently, he is a founder member and Co-Chair of the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) and Patron of Health First Europe (HFE).  He sits on the board of DCC plc where he is Deputy Chairman and is a member of a number of other international commercial boards.

Mr. Pat McLoughlin
Pat McLoughlin was the Chief Executive of the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) from 2007 to December 2013.  Prior to that he served as Deputy Chief Executive and National Director of Hospitals, Health Service Executive
Government Agency and Managing Director, pmlconsulting.  He was Chief Executive
South Eastern Health Board from October 2002 to December 2004 and previously served as CEO of the Eastern Health Board.  Mr McLoughlin has participated in other national public expenditure reviews: he was a member of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (also known as An Bord Snip Nua) and Chair of the Local Government Efficiency Review. He was also a member of the Task Force on Child and Family Support Agency.

Ms. Geraldine Tallon
Geraldine Tallon was Secretary General of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government from 2007 to 2014. She is an arts graduate of University College Dublin and joined the department in 1980. She became Assistant Secretary in 1997, with responsibility for policy development on environmental, climate change and sustainable development issues. In mid 2004 she assumed responsibility for local government and franchise matters.

Mr. Greg Sparks
Greg Sparks is a founding partner of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. He specialises in consulting and corporate finance with a particular focus on programme planning and implementation and change management.  He is involved in a number of projects whereby he is advising either companies or relevant banks involved where a restructuring plan is required. Recently, Greg has been involved in such diverse projects as advising on the privatization of Bord Gais Energy, and the financial reconstruction of Eircom.  He was the Programme Manager for Dick Spring, Tanaiste in the Governments 1992-1997.  Internationally, Greg holds a number of Board appointments including Digicel, the mobile operator in the Caribbean where he chairs the Audit Committee.  Greg has served on the Boards of The Irish Times, Eircom and the Strategic Investment Board in Northern Ireland. He has chaired the Coombe Hospital for a number of years and also served on the Audit Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas.