GRA hits out at 'misuse of resources' to collect false garda breath test data

The body has questioned why garda management wanted the data

GRA hits out at 'misuse of resources' to collect false garda breath test data

File photo. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has questioned how data showing false breath tests was collected.

A report found that the recording of almost 1.5 million fake tests has undermined confidence in the organisation.

An investigation discovered some gardaí were exaggerating figures by 300%.

But the GRA says there is no evidence to show that it was GRA members who were falsifying data.

"The collation of negative breath test data was always an ill-considered misuse of scant resources", it says.

In a statement, the GRA says: "The GRA questions why garda management required data on the number of negative breath tests at a time when garda resources were scarce or diminishing.

"This data was utilised as a crude measure of productivity - and fed into a culture of competition among senior ranks to improve their promotion chances."

"No one can categorically say that it was our members falsifying data - we have numerous examples of supervisors and managers having input into this system."

"There was also little or no training; and the recording process was obviously flawed."

It adds: "We have to ask who wanted this data recorded in the first place".

"Our members will not be scapegoated for ill-considered policies - and this should be the focus of political attention.

"If the people of Ireland have been let down, then it is in the management and deployment of scant resources to appease the need for purposeless data by those in power."