Tuesday 22 August 2017

'Glitch' is blamed as probationary officers must give back money they were overpaid

The controversy surrounds an allowance that was owed to officers before the Garda Representative Association (GRA) rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement (Stock photo)
The controversy surrounds an allowance that was owed to officers before the Garda Representative Association (GRA) rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement (Stock photo)

Robin Schiller and Niall O'Connor

A technical glitch was to blame for some of the newest members of An Garda Síochána being overpaid for several months.

The 196 probation officers who were overpaid must now repay the money.

In a statement yesterday, the Garda Press Office said the glitch resulted in 97 members of the force being overpaid by €487 each.

The remaining 99 gardaí were overpaid by €221. The incident has caused deep unrest within the force.

The controversy surrounds an allowance that was owed to officers before the Garda Representative Association (GRA) rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

But it emerged that a glitch involving the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform meant many officers were given hundreds of euro in error in additional payments.Many of the officers were not aware of the situation and understood that these monies were due to them.

The Garda authorities have yet to take the money back off the probation officers.

Error

However, they have notified all affected officers of the situation.

"At this time, none of this overpayment has been taken back from the probationer gardaí," the statement from the press office read.

"All 197 probationer gardaí have been contacted today by Garda management to inform them of this error and to make arrangements with each individual for this overpayment to be managed. The GRA has also been communicated with on the matter."

The glitch was identified in an audit late last month.

The statement added that Garda management only became aware of the issue in recent days and had "moved as quickly as possible to clarify the situation".

Senior garda sources told the Irish Independent that management were surprised by the glitch, and they were concerned that it had caused anger among gardaí.

Irish Independent

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