Shatter outlines revised Garda compensation scheme
PROPOSALS FOR a revised and quicker Garda compensation scheme were a “major improvement” on current arrangements, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter has said.
The scheme relates to a death or injury which is maliciously inflicted upon a member of An Garda Síochána while on duty or in connection with official duties.
“The majority of gardaí who need to access the scheme will receive more prompt payments and the State will have reduced costs in administering the revised scheme,” the Minister said in a statement.
The proposals, approved recently by the Government, are set out in the Draft General Scheme of the Garda Síochána Compensation (Malicious Injuries) Bill 2012.
The development of a revised scheme is a commitment in the Croke Park agreement.
The Department of Justice and Equality said savings of about €3 million each year were expected in reduced awards, legal fees and administrative costs.
Garda Representative Association president John Parker said: “We have welcomed the concept of speedy resolution. This is another efficiency saving that we have called for. While we have only just been presented with these proposals, the Garda Representative Association has previously endorsed the principles of the reduction in legal fees and a shortened legal process.”
The Government intends to devolve responsibility for implementing the scheme from the Minister to the Garda Commissioner.
Under the current Garda compensation scheme, awards are made by the High Court. The reliance on an adversarial approach to determining awards is considered costly and time-consuming.