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					          Paulyn Marrinan Quinn S.C.
           Ombudsman for the Defence Forces




                      Presentation to


Joint Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions


                    29th February, 2011



                                                             1
       What does your Ombudsman do?

A neutral third-party who investigates complaints by
members, and former members, of the Defence
Forces.……..independent of the Minister, the
Department of Defence and the military authorities.




                                                       2
           Who can make a complaint?
•   Serving members of the Defence Forces
•   Retired members of the Defence Forces
•   Serving Members of the Reserve Defence Forces
•   Retired members of the Reserve Defence Forces




                                                    3
                 Against whom?
The Ombudsman is empowered to investigate
  complaints about actions taken by:

• Another serving member of the Defence Forces
• A former member of the Defence Forces who was
  serving at the time of the action
• A civil servant


                                                  4
                        About?
Any action that may have been:

•   Taken without proper authority
•   Taken on irrelevant grounds
•   The result of negligence or carelessness
•   Based on wrong or incomplete information
•   Improperly discriminatory
•   Contrary to fair or sound administration

                                               5
      Irish Defence Forces Redress of Wrong Process
               Unresolved after Chief of Staff
                    Considered Ruling                                            7 Days
                            OR
                   28 days elapsed since                                       Chief of Staff
                  Complaint Submission

                Complaint may be referred to
                       Ombudsman                             14 Days                   No

                                                              Brigade
                                                                                 Resolved?
                                                            Commander
                                                                                       Yes

                                          5 Days                 No

                                       Commanding                        Yes
                                                             Resolved?
                                         Officer


              2 Days                             No

              Company                                 Yes
                                         Resolved?
             Commander


                                                                                  Process
Complaint
                                                                                 Concludes6
Submitted
                     Serving member                              Preliminary examination – jurisdictional issues considered



                                                                                 Research of issues by ODF
                    Defence Forces
           Redress of Wrongs (RoW) Process


                                                                ODF issues Preliminary View Report: four weeks for replies,
                                                                           clarifications and further information

  Resolved           Complainant not         No decision
                        satisfied            after 28 days –
                                             Complainant           Responses and further information considered by ODF
                                             may refer matter
                                             to ODF
                                                                ODF issues Final Report to Complainant, Chief of Staff and
                                                                                        Minister
         Appeal notified and file sent by Chief of
                       Staff to ODF

                                                                              Minister responds to Final Report



Complaint referred directly to ODF and file requested from
                       Chief of Staff
                                                                 Minister declines to                     Minister accepts
                                                                       accept                            recommendations
                                                                 recommendations

  Former member or serving member with a complaint
              against a civil servant
                                                                   ODF can issue                        ODF communicates
                                                                   Special Report                          outcome to
                                                                                                          Complainant
                                                                                                                     7
                   Ombudsman

“The Ombudsman shall be independent in the
performance of his or her functions….”


Section 4 (1) Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004.




                                                     8
      Do I take my complaint directly to the
                 Ombudsman?

Not in the first instance.
If, 28 days after the complaint was made, there is no
resolution of the dispute, then a Serving member of
the Defence Forces is entitled to bring their complaint
directly to the Ombudsman


                                                          9
Do I have to make a complaint within a specific
                    time?

Yes:
•within 12 months of the action happening,
or
•within 12 months of becoming aware of the action



                                                    10
  Can the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces
  investigate actions that occurred before the
          establishment of her Office?

No.

The Ombudsman can only investigate actions taken on
or since 1st December 2005, the day the Minister for
Defence signed regulations bringing the provisions of
the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004 into force.

                                                        11
Is the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces
excluded from investigating some issues?
Yes.
• Security or military operations
• Organisation, structure and deployment of the
  Defence Forces
• Terms and conditions of employment (i.e. within the
  ambit of the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme )
• Administration of military prisons
                                                    12

				
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