Dáil Éireann - Volume 537 - 30 May, 2001

Written Answers. - Collection of Fines.

222. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will comment on recent reports that large numbers of traffic fines are not being paid, and not being pursued; his views on the suggestion that a link or attachment system to fines, car tax and car insurance be introduced whereby cars could not be taxed or insured if there were fines outstanding; if such a system is practical; if it can be intro[817] duced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16323/01]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 60 of 12 April 2001 on the issue of the collection of fines which was the subject of a value for money study carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General. A high level group comprising representatives of my Department, the Departments of Environment and Local Government, Finance, Social Community and Family Affairs, the Garda Síochána and the Courts Service has been established to address the issues highlighted in the Comptroller and Auditor General's report. This group will examine various proposals to improve the fines collection system, including the type of measures referred to by the Deputy. I should also state that the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General was discussed at the meeting of the Committee of Public Accounts recently and all the agencies involved in the collection of fines have to report back to the committee later this year on the positive steps being taken to address the issues raised.