BackgroundThe Civilianisation Programme commenced in earnest when pursuant to section 19(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner became the appropriate authority for civilian staff of An Garda Síochána in October 2006. A dedicated Civilian HR Directorate was simultaneously established to support the Commissioner in discharging this new statutory responsibility and to drive forward the implementation of the civilianisation programme. NumbersThe number of full-time equivalent civilian staff employed in An Garda Síochána increased from 1,166 at 31st December 2005 to 2,105 at the end of 2009. The moratorium on recruitment imposed an Employment Control Framework on civilian numbers and this was set by the Department of Justice at 1,997 to be achieved incrementally from 2010 onwards.The effect of the Moratorium as mentioned above meant that no further progress could be achieved under the civilisation initiative during the period 2010 to mid 2016. However, in July 2016 the Government Decision to increase staffing levels in An Garda Síochána to 21,000 by 2021 included that the civilian cohort would be increased to 4,000. This is to be achieved incrementally over the next 5 years.Since the beginning of 2017, over 250 personnel have been recruited and all efforts continue to achieve the targeted increases required. Where do civilians work in An Garda Síochána? Garda civilian staff are involved in the provision of a wide range of important administrative, professional, technical and industrial support services. As well as providing clerical support and financial management functions in Garda stations and offices across the country, civilian staff carry out a range of specialised support roles in areas such as HR, IT and telecommunications, teaching, finance and procurement, internal audit, communications, research and analysis, accommodation, scene-of-crime support, legal and medical services. In addition, a number of vital operational support areas are either wholly or largely staffed by civilian staff, such as the Garda Central Vetting Bureau (GCVB), the Garda Information Services Centre (GISC), the Fixed Charge Processing Office (FCPO) and the Command and Control Centre (C&C).Following Government approval, An Garda Síochána will increase the number of civilians in the organisation by 2,000 by 2021, which will bring in much-needed skills and experience in a wide-range of areas to help improve the organisation.