Public Sector Duty

Our Public Sector Duty (PSD) Committee is made up of representatives from each area of our Office. Our PSD staff intranet page highlights key Human Rights issues and events and our PSD Committee has developed a calendar of events to mark particular Human Rights events. 

Human Rights training

During 2023 we made significant progress in terms of providing Human Rights training for our staff.  We further progressed the implementation of a Human Rights Based Approach for investigating Ombudsman complaints by providing specialised training to our Ombudsman staff and completing the development of a Staff Guide which we plan to publish on our website in 2024.

In 2023 we also engaged with a number of organisations representing members of the Traveller Community.  One of those organisations - Pavee Point - provided Cultural Awareness training to Ombudsman staff and further training for the wider office is planned for 2024.  We also provided suicide awareness training (SAFE Talk) to members of staff.

Outreach to marginalised communities

One of the key objectives of our Action Plan is to identify actions which might help to identify sectors of the community that we may not be reaching.  One of those actions is to further develop awareness of the Office through effective and targeted outreach among minority and specific interest groups. In 2023 we held a workshop for Groups and NGOs working with immigrants and persons seeking international protection. The purpose of the workshop was to inform those groups about our Office and to learn from those groups about the issues affecting the people they represent. We also participated in Kildare Social Inclusion Week where we met with various bodies working in social outreach in Kildare. Following on from a workshop we held in 2022 with Groups/NGOs representing persons with a disability, we liaised with the Irish Wheelchair Association regarding their research on the lack of accessibility of public transport infrastructure.

During 2024 we will be issuing an optional anonymous survey to everyone who makes a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman. This will let us know who is complaining to the Ombudsman and we will be able to see what sectors of the community are not contacting our Office.

Health & Wellness

In terms of the Health & Wellness of our staff we reconstituted our Social Committee in 2023. The Social Committee has assumed the brief of our former Health & Wellness Committee and has arranged a series of talks and events to improve the Health & Wellness of our staff.