Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 2012
The Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 2012 brings over 180 additional public bodies under the remit of the Ombudsman with effect from 1 May 2013. It is not possible to supply a definitive list of these public bodies as the Act provides for a general description of the types of "reviewable agencies" that will come within remit. However, this Office has compiled an indicative list of these public bodies. The Ombudsman can examine complaints in relation to the 'administrative actions' of these public bodies which occur on or after 1 May 2013 only.
The Act contains a specific list of public bodies which are not within the Ombudsman's remit.
The other significant provisions in the 2012 Amendment Act are that:
- public bodies under the Ombudsman's remit are legally obliged to give reasonable assistance and guidance to members of the public in the context of their administrative actions. They are also required to deal with members of the public properly, fairly, impartially and in a timely manner
- following an investigation of a complaint, the Ombudsman may make general recommendations to public bodies under his remit even if that public body was not the focus of the complaint or investigation
- if a person fails to comply with a request from the Ombudsman to provide specified information, documents, etc. the Ombudsman may apply to the Circuit Court for an order of compliance
- the Ombudsman may refer any question of law to the High Court for determination