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Sinn Féin call for increased action to end white collar crime

28 November, 2012 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD


Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister Shatter to take increased action to end white collar crime.

Speaking this afternoon Deputy Mac Lochlainn said;

“It is clear from the minister’s answers to my questions that there is an urgent need to increase resources to combat white collar crime and corruption.

“We are still waiting for the government to publish legislation on white collar crime and there are still only 72 gardaí attached to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations with very few convictions for fraud-related offences.

“There is an urgent need to publish legislation which will introduce mechanisms such as plea bargaining and immunity programmes, where necessary, in return for real and meaningful information on corporate gangsterism.

“However none of this will have any impact if the state doesn’t adequately resource those who need to investigate such crimes. Previous Office Director of Corporate Enforcement reports (ODCE) have illustrated a lack of resources and stated that ‘the availability of garda resources for ODCE criminal investigations was severely reduced by the Anglo work’.

“The government has a responsibility to address this urgently. Sinn Féin calls for immediate legislative action and resources to ensure we tackle corporate criminality and replace this with an ethos of accountability and sound sustainable enterprise.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor: Questions and responses copied below
QUESTION NOS: 525 to 529

DÁIL QUESTIONS addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)
by Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 27th November, 2012.

* 525. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Gardaí attached to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations..

- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

* 526. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of civilians employed in the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations..

- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

* 527. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of forensic accountants employed in the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations and in the Criminal Assets Bureau..

- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

* 528. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of outsourced or temporary staff employed by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations..

- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

* 529. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of jobbridge staff employed by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations..

- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

REPLY.
The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.
have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that there are no Job-Bridge staff, outsourced or temporary staff employed by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations (G.B.F.I.). There are two forensic accountants employed on a full time basis, 72 Gardaí and 13 Civilians attached to the G.B.F.I.
There are three personnel with forensic accountant qualifications employed at the Criminal Assets Bureau.

QUESTION NO: 530
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)
by Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 27th November, 2012.
* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce new legislation regarding white collar crime..
- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
REPLY.
I can assure the Deputy that I attach the highest priority to the investigation of white collar crime and to ensuring that An Garda Síochána has the necessary legislative and other supports to do so effectively.
Accordingly, and very shortly after taking up office, I moved urgently to introduce new legislation, the Criminal Justice Act 2011, which provides vital assistance to An Garda Síochána in the completion of current and future white collar crime investigations. The main purpose of the Act is to facilitate the more effective investigation of white collar crime and to reduce associated delays. In this regard the Act provides for new procedures to facilitate Garda access to essential information and documentation to assist in the investigation of white collar crime.
I am pursuing other measures in the form of the Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill which, when enacted, will clarify and strengthen the law on corruption. The General Scheme of the Bill is being considered by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality prior to formal drafting by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Government. The Bill will replace and update existing offences relating to giving or receiving bribes in both the public and private sectors. It will also introduce new offences in relation to corrupt influence peddling. The recommendations of the Mahon Tribunal have been taken into account in provisions to be contained in the Bill such as a new offence of making payments knowingly or recklessly to a third party who intends to use them as bribes.
I am briefed on an ongoing basis by the Garda Commissioner on the progress of the major white collar crime investigations which are underway and the Commissioner is also aware that any further legislative proposals which he feels would assist in the investigation and detection of white collar crime, or of fraud offences generally, will be positively considered by me.

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