Garda management spent €2m in consultancy fees over nine months
Garda management has spent €2 million on external consultancy fees in the first nine months of this year as part of an ongoing reform programme.
The spending is part of a five-year modernisation and renewal programme estimated to cost the taxpayer at least €400m.
However, the huge spend on external consultants is sure to rankle with rank-and-file officers preparing to strike over wage demands.
A Garda spokesman confirmed "external skilled resources" were used to set up the reform programme and the total cost up to the end of September was €2.1m.
He said the establishment and running of the newly formed Garda Strategic Transformation Office, which is overseeing the reform of the force, was achieved by using external consultants.
"This has complemented the internal staff to achieve the setup, running and successful launch of the modernisation and renewal programme," he said.
"We are continuing to ensure that we have the necessary expertise to manage and coordinate the programme and aim to have skilled Garda personnel in a position to take on the programme on its own," he added.
The Garda reform programme is aimed at implementing more than 700 recommendations made in reports into the various Garda crises which engulfed the force in recent years.
It will involve introducing cultural and structural changes after warnings from the Garda Inspectorate and a number of judge-led inquiries into complaints about Garda operations.
The garda IT system will also be upgraded significantly.