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Compliance on Fixed Charge Processing Cancellation Policy.

Judge Matthew Deery confirms continued substantial compliance with Fixed Charge Processing System cancellation policy, over 2021.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, has published the seventh annual report of the Independent Oversight Authority for the Garda Fixed Charge Processing System (FCPS) Cancellation Policy, which focussed on compliance over 2021.

Judge Matthew Deery was appointed as the sole Independent Oversight Authority in January 2015. The appointment followed a recommendation contained in the Garda Professional Standards Unit (GPSU) report entitled ‘Examination of the Procedures, Policy and Decision-Making Processes in relation to Cancellations on the Fixed Charge Processing System of Road Traffic-related Offences’.

Similar to the approach adopted over the preceding six years of his tenure, Judge Deery reviewed a number of random samples of cases where the cancellation authorities used their discretion. Three Garda members are appointed as fixed charge notice cancellation authorities, comprising one member at each of the following ranks: Chief Superintendent, Superintendent and Inspector.

Judge Deery noted continued compliance with the cancellation policy: “… I have reviewed the Fixed Charge Processing System and the cancellation system and am satisfied that there has been substantial compliance”.

In line with his previous annual reports, Judge Deery continues to recommend an amendment to section 87 of the Road Traffic Act 2010, which provides exemptions for driving by emergency services, to require Gardaí claiming this exemption to provide reasons why speeding was necessary. The Department of Transport is reviewing the current statutory framework in road traffic law in relation to emergency service exemptions.

Judge Deery also noted again the issue of undelivered fixed charge notices, commending the work of the Garda regional enforcement units, charged with maximising delivery of notices.

Minister Helen McEntee welcomed Judge Deery’s annual report stating: “I am pleased that Judge Deery’s report for 2021 continues to endorse the FCPS cancellation policy in operation by An Garda Síochána. The FCPS is an important Garda enforcement system, processing high volumes of fixed charge notices annually and it is critical that the system remains fit for purpose and that any cancellations arising are carried out in a transparent and consistent manner. The independent oversight provided by Judge Deery provides important and necessary public assurance in relation to the FCPS and I would like to thank Judge Deery for his ongoing work.”

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