The Garda unit charged with vetting employees to work with children and vulnerable adults is to get 25 extra staff, Justice Minister Alan Shatter has announced.
The Garda Central Vetting Unit has been struggling to cope with the demand for clearance among prospective employees. Last year it dealt with some 350,000 applications, claiming a processing time of eight weeks.
The work of the unit it set to be considerably expanded under new legislation as more types of activity are brought within its remit.
Mr Shatter said that following discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, 25 staff are to be re-deployed from the Department of Agriculture to the Garda Central Vetting Unit.
“The unit, which will become the National Vetting Bureau following commencement of section 28 of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act, will have a substantially expanded role under new legislation,” said the minister.
“It is very important to ensure adequate staffing to meet these new demands.”
He said the staff will be located in Tipperary town.
Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer said additional staff would ensure the “timely vetting” of applications.
“For too long we have heard of delays in processing applications, which have caused delays in people taking up employment and in volunteering across the country,” said Mr Buttimer.
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