The Garda Internal Audit Committee has expressed concern over the control and management of cash and drugs seized as part of criminal investigations by the Gardai.
The head of the committee said ‘close attention’ is needed to address the lack of safeguards over the recording and handling of valuable evidence. Concerns over how gardai deal with key evidence spans over a number of years and some still remain unresolved.
The internal audit committee is made up of private sector experts and senior gardaí, and their role is to examine the work done by the Garda’s Internal Audit Section (GIAS).
A previous internal garda report had warned that it was “critical” that adequate additional storage facilities in line with best practice is provided by the gardaí and that any such systems should be integrated to the Garda Pulse IT system.
The current report, which is an update on the previous year’s document, said that there were “23 out of a total of 44 outstanding high priority audit recommendations relating to the control, management and recording of drugs exhibits, property and evidence, including cash held at garda stations”.
While concerns remain, the committee noted that the force is addressing this matter as a priority under the Strategic Transformation Agenda.