January 21st

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has welcomed today’s report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions (PSOP) on the ‘Role and Remit of an Ombudsman’The Committee recommends that:

  • the Ombudsman should have remit over ‘clinical judgement’ decisions (for example diagnosis and treatment) made by those acting on behalf of the HSE and private nursing homes;
  • the relevant Ombudsman be given oversight of private sector entities in receipt of public money to fund the delivery of public services;
  • investigation recommendations of Ombudsman offices be rejected only where 75% of the Dáil votes to do so;
  • Ombudsman offices be constitutionally based;
  • when an Ombudsman initiates a formal investigation then legal professional privilege should not apply to prevent the Ombudsman from accessing relevant information;
  • Ombudsman offices be funded directly by the Oireachtas rather than Government.

 

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said:

“Every proper functioning democracy requires a fully independent ombudsman with sufficient powers to investigate injustice and have those injustices put right.  I would call on the current or next government to ensure that the recommendations of the PSOP Committee are fully implemented as soon as possible”.

In May 2015 PSOP also published a report recommending that the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children should have full remit over complaints about direct provision centres.

END

Note for Editors: 

The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent and impartial office that examines complaints from the public about most public services including those delivered by:

  • Government Departments
  • Local Authorities
  • HSE, including public hospitals
  • Public and Private Nursing Homes
  • Publically-funded third-level education institutions.

The Ombudsman is Peter Tyndall. 

Today’s PSOP report follows extensive hearings between the PSOP Committee and seven ombudsman offices in Ireland including Peter Tyndall’s Office of the Ombudsman.

Today the PSOP Committee reported on the roles and remits of different Ombudsman offices in Ireland following a series of hearings it conducted with those offices.  The report is available on the PSOP’s pageon www.Oireachtas.ie