Inquiry finds no evidence of corruption on penalty points
Some gardai were too ‘liberal’ in complying with pleas but didn’t benefit
Gardai checking for speeding
A Garda investigation and report for the Government into the quashing of penalty points from drivers’ licences has found no evidence of Garda corruption.
It concludes there is no criminal case to answer by any gardaí or those whose points were terminated; and that no gardaí received any reward, monetary or otherwise, for clearing points from licences.
However, the investigation has found that some gardaí were too “liberal” in complying with requests to terminate points and did not follow procedures when doing so. Some may face disciplinary action.
Tightening of rules
The Irish Times understands the report has recommended a tightening of the rules that grant discretion to gardaí to take penalty points from licences in cases where they feel an error has been made or injustice has been done.
It also concludes the auditing system on the Garda’s Pulse database should be improved so a clear trail would be left when the computerised system is accessed or changed, as has been the case with tens of thousands of penalty points being cleared in recent years.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has already said he was concerned that those who had passed on information about the identities of well-known figures, including judges and sports stars, who had points cleared, had accessed the records of Garda cases that had nothing to do with their work in the force.
Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney was asked last November to carry out investigations and prepare a report after two Garda whistleblowers went to members of the Dáil to allege widespread corruption by members of the force in wiping points on request without genuine reason.
They supplied documents which they said supported their allegations.
The resulting report has now been received by Mr Shatter and he has sought legal advice on certain aspects of it ahead of its planned publication.
Mr Shatter will also bring the report before Cabinet as early as its meeting tomorrow.
Informed sources said the issue of whether or how many disciplinary actions would be started against serving gardaí would be a matter for Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.