Types of complaints we can examine

The Ombudsman can examine a complaint if you:

  • feel a decision is unfair or negatively affects you
  • have not been given a clear reason for a decision
  • have had to wait for a decision for too long
  • have been given wrong information
  • have not had your complaint dealt with properly

Our factsheets contain more information about the types of complaints that we can examine.

The Ombudsman cannot examine complaints about:

  • clinical judgements (for example, the diagnosis or treatment of a patient made by, or on behalf of, the HSE or private nursing homes)  
  • activities that, by law, can be carried out only by elected members of a county council or municipal district members – these are called ‘reserved functions’ of local authorities
  • a job application, or terms and conditions of employment
  • decisions relating to immigration or naturalisation
  • how prisons are run
  • an action taken to protect national security
  • a decision that can be appealed in the courts or with an independent appeals body

Legal proceedings

Unless the circumstances are exceptional, the Ombudsman cannot examine your complaint if you have started legal proceedings against the service provider about the same complaint.

You can get legal advice about your complaint and still bring it to the Ombudsman as long as you don’t actually start legal proceedings. Contact us if you are not sure.

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