Sunday 21 April 2019

State spending watchdog probes garda gym fund

Stock photo
Stock photo
The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) is investigating the purchase of €16,000 worth of gym equipment for a garda station which was bought using funding from a district court poor box. Stock photo
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) is investigating the purchase of €16,000 worth of gym equipment for a garda station which was bought using funding from a district court poor box.

It is understood the C&AG wrote to An Garda Siochana seeking information on the transaction after details of the purchase were published in the Sunday Independent.

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Gardai responded to the request by providing the State's spending watchdog with a report on the matter.

Details of the C&AG's investigation are expected to be published in the agency's annual report which will then be debated by the Dail's Public Accounts Committee.

A C&AG spokesperson said: "For client confidentiality reasons, we do not give any public information on our engagement with client bodies." However, a senior Garda source confirmed the watchdog did seek information on the transactions.

Meanwhile, Garda Headquarters is continuing to investigate the decision by gardai to purchase gym equipment using money they received from a court poor box.

The internal review is also examining a €27,000 poor box payment used by the same station to buy a minibus for a community policing initiative.

The funding for the bus is believed to have been raised through two poor box payments - one from a district court and another from a circuit court.

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