Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice, Niall Collins TD, says the long-awaited publication of the Report of the Independent Review into the Department of Justice is damning and shows how dysfunctional the administration of justice has been within the Department.
Deputy Collins said he has written to the Chair of the Justice Committee to request that this report be discussed at length at the Justice Committee.
He commented: “While I welcome the report’s publication, it is regretful Minister Fitzgerald delayed its release until after the Dáil rose for the summer. It is one of the most damning reports of a department that I have ever read. It gives us an insight into how dysfunctional the administrative core of the Department has become. The Minister and government can no longer ignore this fact.
“While I do have sympathy for the hard-working staff at the Department and the report outlines the good work being done in many areas, it does however make depressing reading when it outlines the weaknesses in particular in the Management Advisory Committee (MAC).
“The report actually shows that there has to be a far more open and constructive department particularly when dealing with its outside agencies.
“It describes the department as being “a closed secretive and silo driven culture with significant leadership and management problems.”
Deputy Collins added that one personnel change at the top of the Department is not enough and there needs to be a major cultural shift across the Department .
“There needs to be significant personnel changes within the Department and the Secretary General to the Government should oversee this process.
“Unfortunately this report cannot be looked at in isolation, we have already seen the Cooke Report and Guerin Report which led to the Fennelly Inquiry. All these were established as a result of mismanagement within the department.
“There are still many questions unanswered. While Brian Purcell is now leaving the department to work somewhere else, the public is still unaware of what was said between Mr Purcell and the Taoiseach the night before the former Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan resigned his post. This remains unacceptable.
“It was also reported yesterday that former Justice Minister Shatter wrote to the Taoiseach outlining his concerns about information he did not receive on the allegations made by whistle blower Maurice McCabe. This also needs to be immediately clarified by Minister Fitzgerald.”