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

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Paulyn Marrinan Quinn S.C. Ombudsman for the Defence Forces. Presentation to Joint Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions 29 th February, 2011. What does your Ombudsman do?

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

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

Presentation to

Joint Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions

29th February, 2011

slide2

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.

slide3

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
slide4

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
slide5

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
irish defence forces redress of wrong process
Irish Defence Forces Redress of Wrong Process

Unresolved after Chief of Staff

Considered Ruling

OR

28 days elapsed since

Complaint Submission

Complaint may be referred to Ombudsman

7 Days

Chief of Staff

14 Days

No

Brigade Commander

Resolved?

Yes

5 Days

No

Yes

Commanding Officer

Resolved?

2 Days

No

Yes

Company Commander

Resolved?

Process Concludes

Complaint Submitted

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Preliminary examination – jurisdictional issues considered

Serving member

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 satisfied

No decision after 28 days – Complainant may refer matter to ODF

Responses and further information considered by 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 accept recommendations

Minister accepts recommendations

Former member or serving member with a complaint against a civil servant

ODF can issue Special Report

ODF communicates outcome to Complainant

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Ombudsman

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

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

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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

slide10

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
slide11

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.

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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
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