€25m allocated to justice department not spent

Almost €25m allocated to the Department of Justice went unspent last year, including €2.4m on the troubled State Pathology facility, about €700,000 on domestic and sexual violence budgets, and more than €100,000 on unfilled vacancies in the Garda Inspectorate.

€25m allocated to justice department not spent

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report also reveals that new Probation Service offices — fitted out to the tune of almost €1.1m — remain unoccupied because of planning permission issues.

A related C&AG report on the Prison Service shows that €9.6m for building new prisons at Cork and Limerick went unspent because of “complexities” in planning and procurement.

A third C&AG report on An Garda Síochána said that two major capital projects under way — an IT system enabling greater co-operation with other EU police forces and an intelligence management system for specialist Garda units — remain on hold pending the Government’s decisions to fund them.

The report on the Department of Justice discloses that of the €320.4m allocated to it, €295.6m was spent, with the remaining €24.7m going back to the exchequer.

Of this, €6.5m earmarked for IT projects in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service was not spent and €107,000 allocated to the Garda Inspectorate to fill vacancies was not used.

Almost €700,000 allocated to Cosc — the domestic, sexual and gender-based violence programme — was not spent. This was due to the “non-replacement of staff and less funding being paid in respect of certain programmes”.

A further €900,000 of funding for Probation Service offenders went unspent due to “economies achieved in community- based organisations”.

More than €2.4m allocated to the new State Pathology facility was again unspent as the “new accommodation did not proceed in 2013”.

Seven years ago, a decision was made to build a much-needed State Pathology Service. About €3.3m was subsequently spent on the project before it collapsed. The half-built building was demolished on health and safety grounds. A scaled-down facility was since planned at the old Whitehall Garda Station.

The Garda report notes an overtime bill of €46.5m. It said 12,818 gardaí received overtime payments, including 1,090 members receiving more than €10,000. The maximum individual payment was €45,432.

The Prison Service report shows an extra attendance and overtime bill of €32.79m, with 3,141 in receipt of such payments.

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