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Public Accounts Committee could investigate €500,000 Garda recording tenders

Over €500,000 was spent outfitting 21 Garda stations.

Image: Recorder via Shutterstock

INDEPENDENT TD SHANE Ross says that an investigation may take place into the spending of €500,000 on recording equipment for Garda stations.

The tender for the supply of the recording equipment was made public in 2008, seeking a number of recording devices.

It asks for:

  • Apparatus for sound, video-recording and reproduction
  • Video recording or reproducing apparatus
  • Television and radio receivers, and sound or video recording or reproducing
  • Digital transmission apparatus
  • Maintenance services of radio-communications equipment

It is believed that the apparatus’ were installed in 21 stations, at a cost of more than €500,000.

Speaking today on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ross said that he will be asking the Public Accounts Committee to investigate if public money was misspent.

“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will have to look at the value for money in the systems, but there is a bigger issue of whether this recording was legal.”

Ross said that the system may have been used for legitimate purposes, but it was no longer being used for its original purpose, which is the recording of bomb threats.

“The first thing I’m going to do is get in contact with John McGuinness (Chair of the PAC) and ask that we bring in officials from the Department of Justice and the former Garda Commissioner.

“We have a serious remit here. We have a public duty to find out the circumstances under which this tender was granted.”

Ross said that there were “bigger fish to fry” surrounding the controversy, but said that finding out how the system of recording was initiated is important.

Read: Everything you need to know about GardaGate in one place

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