C&AG report: Gardaí probe €50k fraud within force

Gardaí are investigating 34 internal cases of suspected fraud totalling €50,000, according to the State’s public expenditure watchdog.

It represents an almost six-fold jump on the number of such cases in 2013, when there were six instances, amounting to €12,000.

It is thought to be first time in recent years the C&AG has provided information on ‘fraud and suspected fraud’ within the gardaí in its appropriation accounts.

The accounts were published alongside its public services report, made available on Tuesday last.

The C&AG categorised the €50,000 as “alleged misappropriation of monies”, but no further detail is provided in terms of the type of suspected fraud involved.

“There were 34 detected/alleged fraud instances in 2014 which are currently under Garda investigation (2013:6),” the appropriation report said.

The report also stated that a total of 613 accidents involving garda vehicles were reported last year, compared to 598 in 2013.

It said damage and other costs to official vehicles amounted to €330,953, and that €89,913 was recovered in compensation. This was a drop on costs from 2013 (€524,100).

C&AG report: Gardaí probe €50k fraud within force

The 2014 C&AG report also said the total pay costs for the 15,053 employees of the Garda Siochana (12,799 gardaí) was €931.4m, down from €949.4m in 2013.

The costs included allowances of €196m and overtime of €37.7m.

The maximum overtime payment to an individual garda was almost €44,000.

The report shows there were 205 civil cases arising from actions of gardaí in the performance of their duties in 2014, compared to 190 in 2013 and 186 in 2012.

Some €3.9m was paid out last year, comprising €2.9m in legal costs and €950,000 in actual compensation.

Separately, there were 177 claims (including by gardaí) resulting from accidents involving Garda vehicles in 2014, resulting in total costs of €2.2m.

Elsewhere, 159 cases were taken by members and employees of the Gardaí under the Garda Siochana Compensation Act.

This resulted in €6.3m in compensation and legal costs, compared to €8.4m in 2013.

In addition, there were 41 cases through the State Claims Agency for injuries received while on duty, resulting in costs of €500,000, compared to €420,000 in 2013.

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