The Social Democrats have called on the Garda Síochána to publish full details of any contracts with private companies operating mobile speed detection cameras in the state.

Party co-leader Róisín Shortall TD made the call today as details of a €1.2 million per month contract with the company GoSafe were published following a Freedom of Information request by RTÉ. RTÉ published the terms of the contract with the company, which it says ran for over six years until May 2017, and has since been replaced by a new agreement.

Deputy Shortall said:

“I welcome the decision by the Information Commissioner to release details of this contract with GoSafe on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so. But we shouldn’t have to rely on FOI requests from journalists to find out how public money is being spent on efforts to increase road safety.

“It is clearly in the public interest for us to know details of contracts with private companies operating services on behalf of the state’s law enforcement agencies. It has been reported that the same consortium has had its contract renewed in 2016 in a deal worth up to €115.5 million. Yet GoSafe’s operating company, Road Safety Operations, has put its profits out of sight by registering as an unlimited company.

Deputy Shortall added:

“There are vital questions about GoSafe’s legal authority and past record when it comes to prosecuting speeding cases and giving evidence on behalf of An Garda Síochána in relation to cases before the courts.

“In October 2015, almost 100 speeding cases were dismissed by a District Court judge on the basis that GoSafe was unable to demonstrate the necessary legal authority to give evidence on behalf of Gardaí. All road users, and the wider public, deserve to know whether there was any scrutiny of the company’s past record in this area before its contract was renewed.

“In the light of this successful Freedom of Information request, the Garda and the Department of Justice should now proactively publish details of any current contract with the company as well as proof of due diligence in the procurement process that led to it being reportedly rewarded a new contract in 2016.”

ENDS

27 July 2017