Further to the Garda Representative Association releasing a statement last night, saying rank and file gardai wouldn’t be scapegoated for the 1.4million fake breath test figures from An Garda Siochana.
A five-minute clip from an interview RTÉ’s Paul Reynolds carried out with John O’Keeffe, from the Garda Representative Association (GRA).
Further to the publication last week of An Garda Siochana’s internal inquiry into the number of breath tests that members carried out between 2009 and 2016.
And how they discovered there was more than 1.4millionfake breath tests recorded between 2009 and 2016…
The Garda Representative Association has released the following statement:
The GRA questions why Garda Management required data on the number of negative breath tests at a time when Garda resources were scarce or diminishing.
This data was utilised as a crude measure of productivity – and fed into a culture of competition among senior ranks to improve their promotion chances.
No one can categorically say that it was our members falsifying data – we have numerous examples of supervisors and managers having input into this system.
There was also little or no training and the recording process was obviously flawed. We have to ask who wanted this data recorded in the first place – and what does it purport to show?
Goodhart’s Law states that when a measure becomes a target – it ceases to become a good measure.
During the height of the recession when garda numbers had been significantly reduced, we were told by Garda Management figures – and propagated by Government – that crime figures were falling.
We blew the whistle and said that crime figures were being ‘massaged’ downwards – and we were vindicated by the Garda Síochána Inspectorate and latterly the Central Statistics Office.
It is clear in the Report that Garda Management do not wish to be blamed for this debacle – but it is entirely of their own making.
Their obsession with data collection, for no clear and distinct purpose, while our members were issued with endless directives at a time of under-resourcing, no training, increased workloads and an unclear system of collation was a policy of failure.
Our members will not be scapegoated for ill-considered policies – and this should be the focus of political attention.
If the people of Ireland have been let down; then it is in the management and deployment of scant resources to appease the need for purposeless data by those in power.
The inquiry into the fake breath tests discovered there was more than 1.4million fake breath tests recorded between 2009 and 2016.
Meanwhile, the Policing Authority has hired financial auditors Crowe Horwath to conduct its own independent investigation into the matters and that’s expected to be completed by September 25.
It’s been reported that Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan is due to appear before the Policing Authority three days later on September 28.
Conor Lally, in The Irish Times, reports:
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan released a statement yesterday about the Garda’s reports into inflated breath tests and the fixed-charge notice system. He said he was disturbed by the findings and expected the reports to be published later in the day.
But Garda Headquarters never had any intention of publishing the reports any time soon. It wanted to wait until consultants hired by the Policing Authority to examine the same issues had completed their work.
But the Garda has now been forced to go public with the reports because Mr Flanagan, in public, told Ms O’Sullivan she had to publish yesterday.
And if the Policing Authority’s consultants find anything nasty that the Garda reports overlook, it could be the end of the road for Ms O’Sullivan.