Report on garda penalty points cancellations to be published today

Two whistleblowers had alleged that thousands of penalty points had been cancelled by senior officers for reasons that were not legitimate.

Two whistleblowers had alleged that thousands of penalty points had been cancelled by senior officers for reasons that were not legitimate.

Wed, May 15, 2013, 01:00

The report into the widescale cancellation of penalty points by gardaí will be not be a “cover-up or a whitewash”, Government sources insisted last night.

The report, which follows an internal Garda investigation, will be published today but with the names of all people who may have benefited being redacted.

Garda sources said the inquiry by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony had not uncovered evidence that would support criminal convictions of gardaí who had expunged points.

However, it has identified widespread non-adherence to regulations on the termination of penalty points, and a number of gardaí may be disciplined internally.

Two whistleblowers within the Garda who gained access to the Pulse system claimed that the list of beneficiaries runs into thousands and that view has been supported by a group of TDs who have campaigned on this issue.

However, the Government and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter have long suggested that the number of people who may have had penalty points for driving offences cancelled for reasons that were not sanctioned is in the low hundreds at most.

The Government approved publication of the long-awaited report at its weekly meeting yesterday, during which Mr Shatter briefed colleagues about its content. The Government spokesman said last night that “all names are being redacted” in the report.

This decision, which is bound to attract criticism, is understood to have been taken on legal advice. When asked why, the Government spokesman said Mr Shatter would outline in detail the contents of the report and would answer all other questions.


Uncertainty
A senior Government source said the report was substantial, adding there was uncertainty as to how it would play out among the public.

The investigation commissioned by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan was taken on foot of disclosures by the two whistleblowers, who had alleged that thousands of penalty points had been cancelled by senior officers for reasons that were not legitimate.

Among those who allegedly had points cancelled were gardaí, relations of gardaí and prominent individuals in society.

It is believed that no finding of corruption has been made but that shortcomings in procedures and following protocols were identified, apparently in a small number of cases.