Government agrees ‘salary span’ for new Garda commissioner

Ministers told pay of up to €250,000, allowance for accommodation may be required

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said it was very important that the right candidate was secured to carry out the job of Garda commissioner. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said it was very important that the right candidate was secured to carry out the job of Garda commissioner. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

The Government may pay the accommodation costs and education fees for dependant children if an international candidate is selected for the role of Garda Commissioner.

The Cabinet agreed to advertise the position of the commissioner early in the New Year at a “salary span” of €200,000-€250,000.

Ministers were informed by the Department of Justice the salary scale was necessary to attract top-quality candidates from a broad range of jurisdictions, and was recommended by the Policing Authority.

The authority proposed a base salary for this position in the region of €200,000-€250,000, depending on whether a performance-related bonus is provided.

Ministers were also told that in the case of an international candidate and depending on family circumstances, the inclusion of accommodation in Dublin or an accommodation allowance would be appropriate, as well as return flights from time to time and education costs for dependant children.

“It would not be desirable that the Garda commissioner reside outside of the jurisdiction – the commissioner is on call 24/7/365,” a Government source said.

Personal team

Ministers were also told the potential candidates for the Garda commissioner post were “likely to expect an assurance that they could appoint a small personal team, most likely on a contract basis”.

The process will be an open competition with no restrictions as to the nationality of the candidate. Policing experience, while desirable, will not be an essential requirement

Meanwhile, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the Cabinet on Tuesday had not agreed any bonus payment for the post and further engagement would be required.

Mr Donohoe said changes were taking place in remuneration in the private sector in Ireland and in other employment markets “against which we have to compare ourselves”.

“Those changes are happening but my objective is to maintain the integrity of our public service pay policy overall and to make sure if we identify the right candidate, that that person is paid competitively.”

The Public Appointments Service will be tasked with conducting the process and the authority will carry out the interviews and make a nomination.

The process will be an open competition with no restrictions as to the nationality of the candidate. Policing experience, while desirable, will not be an essential requirement.

If the successful candidate is not an existing member of An Garda Síochána, he or she will be required to make a solemn declaration under section 16 of the 2005 Act including to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State.

Mr Donohoe said it was very important that the right candidate was secured to carry out the job of Garda commissioner.

“I believe I will be able to justify such a salary depending on who the candidate will be. That is why neither I nor the Minister for Justice made a decision in relation to the salary.”