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Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004
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Summary

This act provides for the appointment and functions of an Ombudman for the Defence Forces. This acts also amends the Defence Act 1954 and provides for related matters
Table of Contents
1Interpretation10Secrecy of information
2Appointment of Ombudsman11Committee of Public Accounts
3Remuneration and superannuation12Oireachtas committees
4Functions of Ombudsman13Amendment of section 114 of Act of 1954
5Exclusions14Staff
6Complaint to Ombudsman15Investigation officers
7Reports16Accounts and audits
8Production of documents, information, etc17Regulations
9Conduct of investigations18Expenses
19Short title and commencement.
OMBUDSMAN (DEFENCE FORCES) ACT 2004

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AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF AN OMBUDSMAN FOR THE DEFENCE FORCES, TO AMEND THE DEFENCE ACT 1954 AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS. [10th November, 2004]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:


Interpretation
1.—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Act of 1954” means the Defence Act 1954;

“Act of 1980” means the Ombudsman Act 1980;

“action” means—

(a) any act that is carried out or any decision made by or on behalf of a person referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 6(1) or paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 6(2) ,or

(b) a failure by or on behalf of a person referred to in para­graph (a), (b) or (c) of section 6(1) or paragraph (a), (b)or (c) of section 6(2) to carry out an act or make a decision,

but does not include an act or decision referred to in paragraph (a) or a failure to carry out an act or make a decision referred to in paragraph (b) that relates to or affects security or a military operation;

“civil servant” has the meaning assigned to it by the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 but for the purposes of sections 4(7), 6(1)(c), 6(2)(c) and 9(2) a reference to a civil servant shall be construed as a reference to a civil servant who is or was employed as a civil servant in the Department of Defence and for the purposes of section 6 an action taken by or on behalf of a civil servant shall concern the per­formance of administrative functions by that civil servant in the De­partment of Defence;

“complainant” means a person who makes a complaint under section 6;

“complaint” means a complaint made in accordance with section 6;

“Defence Forces” means the Permanent Defence Force referred to in section 19 of the Act of 1954 and the Reserve Defence Force referred to in section 20 of the Act of 1954;

“functions” includes powers and duties and a reference to the per­formance of a function shall include, with respect to powers, a refer­ence to the exercise of a power;

“investigation officer” has the meaning assigned to it by section 15;

“military operation” means—

(a) active service within the meaning of section 5 of the Act of 1954,

(b) active service as provided for in section 4(1) of the De­fence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960,

(c) operational duties at sea, or

(d) the provision of aid to the civil power;

“Minister” means the Minister for Defence;

“Ombudsman” means the person appointed as Ombudsman for the Defence Forces under section 2(2);

“security” means the security or defence of the State;

“service tribunal” has the meaning assigned to it by section 161 of the Act of 1954.

(2) In this Act—

(a) a reference to a section is a reference to a section of this Act, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other enactment is intended,

(b) a reference to a subsection or paragraph is a reference to the subsection or paragraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other provision is intended, and

(c) a reference to any enactment shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended, adapted or extended by or under any subsequent enactment.

Appointment of Ombudsman
2.—(1) There is established the office of Ombudsman for the Deffence Forces and the holder of the office shall be known as the Om­budsman for the Defence Forces.

(2) The appointment of a person to be the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces shall be made by the President on the recommend­ation of the Government.

(3) Subject to this Act, a person appointed under subsection (2)shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine.

(4) A person appointed to be the Ombudsman—

(a) may at his or her own request be relieved of office by the President,

(b) may be removed from office by the President but shall not be removed from office except for stated misbehaviour, incapacity or bankruptcy where there is a recommend­ation for removal by the Government, and

(c) shall, where subsection (8) applies, vacate the office on attaining the prescribed age.

(5) Subject to this section, a person appointed to be the Ombuds­man shall hold office for such term as may be specified in the instru­ment of appointment which term shall not exceed 7 years and such person may be eligible for re-appointment to the office for a second or subsequent term.

(6) If the person holding the office of the Ombudsman is—

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad E ireann, or

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to the European Parliament, or


(c) regarded, pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997, as having being elected to the European Parliament, or

(d) becomes a member of a local authority,

that person shall thereupon cease to hold the office of Ombudsman.

(7) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein, or who is a member of the European Parliament or a local authority shall, while he or she is so entitled or is such a member, be disqualified from holding the office of Ombudsman.

(8) In respect of any person who is not a new entrant (within the meaning of the Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004) the Minister may, with the consent of the Mini­ster for Finance, prescribe the age at which such a person shall vacate office pursuant to subsection (4)(c).

(9) A person who holds the office of Ombudsman shall not be a member of the Defence Forces or a civil servant.


Remuneration and Superannuation
3.—(1) There shall be paid to the holder of the office of Ombuds­man such remuneration and allowances for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time determine.

(2) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Fin­ance, make and carry out, in accordance with its terms, a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of persons who have held the office of Ombudsman as he or she thinks fit.

(3) A scheme referred to in subsection (2) shall fix the time and conditions of retirement for persons in respect of whom superannu­ation benefits are payable under the scheme, and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

(4) The Minister may at any time, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, make and carry out a scheme or schemes amending or revoking a scheme under this section.

(5) No superannuation benefit shall be granted by the Minister nor shall any other arrangement be entered into by the Minister for the provision of such a benefit to or in respect of the person who holds the office of Ombudsman otherwise than in accordance with a scheme under this section or, if the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, sanctions the granting of such a benefit, in accordance with that sanction.

(6) A scheme under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resol­ution annulling the scheme is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the scheme is laid before it, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly but without preju­dice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

(7) Where a dispute arises as to the claim of any person to, or to the amount of, any superannuation benefit in pursuance of a scheme or schemes under this section, such dispute shall be submitted to the Minister who shall refer it to the Minister for Finance, whose decision shall be final.

(8) In this section, “superannuation benefit” means a pension, gratuity or other allowance payable on resignation, retirement or death.

Functions of Ombudsman
4.—(1) The Ombudsman shall be independent in the performance of his or her functions, and shall at all times have due regard to the operational requirements of the Defence Forces.

(2) Subject to this Act, the Ombudsman may investigate any ac­tion that is the subject of a complaint made by a person affected by the action if, having carried out a preliminary examination of the matter, it appears to the Ombudsman that—

(a) the action has or may have adversely affected the com­plainant,

(b) the action was or may have been—

(i) taken without proper authority,

(ii) taken on irrelevant grounds,

(iii) the result of negligence or carelessness,
(iv) based on erroneous or incomplete information,

(v) improperly discriminatory,

(vi) unreasonable, notwithstanding consideration of the context of the military environment,

(vii) based on undesirable administrative practice, or

(viii) otherwise contrary to fair or sound administration,

(c) the action was not an order issued in the course of a military operation, and

(d) in the case of a serving member of the Defence Forces, the matter is not likely to be resolved and a period of 28 days has expired since the complaint was made under section 114 of the Act of 1954.

(3) The Ombudsman may—

(a) decide not to carry out an investigation under this Act into an action that is the subject of a complaint, or

(b) discontinue an investigation under this Act into an action that is the subject of a complaint,

if he or she is of the opinion that—

(i) the complaint is trivial or vexatious,

(ii) the complainant has an insufficient interest in the matter,

(iii) satisfactory measures to remedy, mitigate or alter the ad­verse effect of the action on the complainant have been taken or are proposed to be taken, or

(iv) the complainant has not taken reasonable steps to seek redress in respect of the subject matter of the complaint or, if the complainant has taken such steps, he or she has not been refused redress.

(4) It shall not be necessary for the Ombudsman to investigate an action under this Act if he or she is of the opinion that the subject matter concerned has been, is being or will be investigated in a simi­lar manner under another investigation by the Ombudsman under this Act.

(5) A preliminary examination or an investigation by the Ombudsman shall not affect the validity of the action investigated or any power or duty of the person who took the action to take further action with respect to any matters the subject of the preliminary examination or investigation.

(6) In determining whether to initiate, continue or discontinue an investigation under this Act, the Ombudsman shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, act in accordance with his or her own discretion.

(7) A member of the Defence Forces—

(a) who makes a complaint to the Ombudsman concerning an action taken by or on behalf of a civil servant shall not, subsequently, make a complaint about the same matter to the Ombudsman appointed under the Act of 1980, or

(b) who makes a complaint to the Ombudsman appointed under the Act of 1980 in relation to an action taken by or on behalf of a civil servant shall not, subsequently, make a complaint about the same matter to the Ombudsman.

(8) Nothing in subsection (2)(a) or section 6 shall be construed as prohibiting the investigation by the Ombudsman of—

(a) an action that is the subject of a complaint by a complain­ant which, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, has or may have affected the complainant other than in an official capacity, or

(b) an action that is the subject of a complaint by a complain­ant which was carried out, or may have been carried out, by a person acting other than in an official capacity.

(9) The Ombudsman shall furnish to the Minister such infor­mation regarding the performance of his or her functions as the Mini­ster may from time to time request.


Exclusions
5.—(1) The Ombudsman shall not investigate any complaint con­cerning an action referred to in section 6(1) or 6(2)

(a) if the action is one in relation to which—

(i) the complainant has initiated legal proceedings in any civil court and the proceedings have not been dismis­sed for failure to disclose a cause of action or a com­plaint justiciable by that court whether the pro­ceedings have been otherwise concluded or have not been concluded, or

(ii) the complainant has a right, conferred by or under statute, of appeal, reference or review to or before a court in the State (not being an appeal, reference or review in relation to a decision of a court),

(b) if the action has been or is the subject of an investigation under section 179 of the Act of 1954 or by a service tri­bunal and is not an action concerning delay or any other matter concerning the administration of such inves­tigations,

(c) if the Ombudsman is satisfied that the action relates to or affects security or a military operation,

(d) if the action concerns—

(i) any matter relating to the terms or conditions of em­ployment in the Defence Forces, including any matter relating to the negotiation and determination of the rates of remuneration or allowances, which is within the scope of a conciliation and arbitration scheme referred to in section 2(6) of the Defence (Amendment) Act 1990, or

(ii) any matter concerning the organisation, structure and deployment of the Defence Forces,

(e) if the action is one—

(i) involving the exercise of the right or power referred to in Article 13.6 of the Constitution or the remission of any forfeiture or disqualification imposed by a subordinate officer pursuant to section 179 of the Act of 1954 by a service tribunal or by the Courts Martial Appeal Court, or

(ii) that concerns the administration of military prisons or places of detention for the custody of members of the Defence Forces committed to custody by a ser­vice tribunal or otherwise,

(f) if the complaint concerned has not been made within the period specified in section 6(3),or

(g) if the action is taken before the commencement of this Act.

(2) Where for security reasons, the Minister so requests in writing (and attaches to the request a statement in writing setting out in full the reasons for the request), the Ombudsman shall not investigate, or shall cease to investigate, an action specified in the request.

(3) Where the Ombudsman receives a request under subsection (2), he or she may apply to the High Court for a declaration that the matter concerned is not of such gravity to warrant such request.

(4) If the High Court is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so it shall make the declaration and the Minister shall withdraw such request.

Complaint to the Ombudsman
6.—(1) A serving member of the Defence Forces may, subject to this Act, make a complaint to the Ombudsman concerning an action if it has affected that member and was taken by or on behalf of—

(a) another serving member of the Defence Forces,

(b) a former member of the Defence Forces while he or she was a serving member of the Defence Forces, or

(c) a civil servant.

(2) A former member of the Defence Forces may, subject to this Act, make a complaint to the Ombudsman concerning an action if it has affected that former member and was taken while he or she was a serving member of the Defence Forces by or on behalf of—

(a) a serving member of the Defence Forces,

(b) a former member of the Defence Forces while he or she was a serving member of the Defence Forces, or
a civil servant.

(3) A complainant shall make a complaint referred to in subsec­tions (1) and (2) not later than 12 months from—

(a) the date of the action concerned, or

(b) the date on which the complainant became aware of the action,

whichever is the later.


Reports
7.—(1) Where, following the making of a complaint, the Ombuds­man decides not to carry out an investigation or to discontinue an investigation, he or she shall notify the complainant and any person concerned with the complaint, stating the reasons, in writing, for the decision.

(2) Where the Ombudsman conducts an investigation under this Act into an action that is the subject of a complaint, he or she shall send a statement in writing of the results of the investigation to—

(a) the Minister and to all persons concerned with the com­plaint, and

(b) any other person to whom he or she considers it appro­priate to send the statement.

.
(3) Where, following an investigation under this Act into an ac­tion that is the subject of a complaint, it appears to the Ombudsman that the action adversely affected the complainant and is an action falling within subparagraphs (i) to (viii) of section 4(2)(b) he or she may recommend to the Minister—

(a) that the action be further considered,

(b) that measures or specified measures be taken to remedy, mitigate or alter the adverse effect of the action, or

(c) that the reasons for taking the action be given to the Ombudsman,

and, if the Ombudsman thinks fit to do so, he or she may request the Minister to notify him or her within a specified time of a response to the recommendation.

(4) Where the Ombudsman carries out an investigation under this Act into an action that is the subject of a complaint he or she shall notify the complainant of the result of the investigation, the recom­mendation (if any) made under subsection (3) and the response (if any) made by the Minister.

(5) Where it appears to the Ombudsman that the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to a recommendation under subsection (3) are not satisfactory, the Ombudsman may, if he or she so thinks fit, cause a special report on the case to be included in a report under subsection (7).

(6) The Ombudsman shall not make a finding or criticism adverse to a person under this section without having provided that person with an opportunity to consider, and make representations in respect of, the finding or criticism to the Ombudsman.

(7) The Ombudsman shall, as soon as may be, but not later than 4 months after the end of each year, cause a report on the perform­ance of his or her functions under the Act to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and may from time to time cause to be laid before each such House such other reports with respect to those functions as he or she thinks fit.

(8) An annual report referred to in subsection (7) shall be in such form and regarding such matters as the Ombudsman thinks fit or the Minister may direct.

(9) For the purposes of the law of defamation, any such publi­cation as is hereinafter mentioned shall be absolutely privileged, that is to say—
(a) the publication of any matter by the Ombudsman in mak­ing a report to either House of the Oireachtas for the purpose of this Act, and

(b) the publication by the Ombudsman—

(i) to a person mentioned in subsection (1) of a notifi­cation sent to that person in accordance with that subsection,
(ii) to a person mentioned in subsection (2) of a statement sent to that person in accordance with that subsection,

(iii) to the Minister of a recommendation made to the Minister by the Ombudsman in accordance with sub­section (3), and

(iv) to the complainant of a notification given to the complainant by the Ombudsman under subsection (4).


Production of documents, information etc
8.—(1) (a) Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), the Ombudsman may, for the purposes of a preliminary examination or an in­vestigation under this Act require any person who, in his or her opinion, is in possession of information, or has a document, part of a document or thing in his or her power or control, that is relevant to the preliminary examination or investigation to furnish that information, document, part of a document or thing to the Ombuds­man and, where appropriate, may require that person to attend before him or her for that purpose and the person shall comply with the requirements.

(b) Paragraph (a) shall not apply to information, a document, part of a document or thing that relates to decisions and proceedings of the Government or of any committee of the Government and for the purposes of this paragraph a certificate given by the Secretary General to the Government certifying that any information, document, part of a document or thing so relates shall be conclusive.

(c) Paragraph (a) shall not apply to information, a document, part of a document or thing that concerns any matter re­lating to security or a military operation and for the pur­poses of this paragraph a certificate given by the Minister, on the advice of the Chief of Staff, certifying that any information, document, part of a document or thing was so concerned shall be conclusive.

(2) Subject to this Act, a person to whom a requirement is ad­dressed under this section shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he or she were a witness before the High Court.

(3) A person shall not by act or omission obstruct or hinder the Ombudsman in the performance of his or her functions or do any other thing which would, if the Ombudsman were a court having power to commit for contempt of court, be contempt of such court.

(4) Any obligation to maintain secrecy or other restriction on the disclosure of information obtained by or furnished to a Department of State or civil servant imposed by the Official Secrets Act 1963 shall not apply to a preliminary examination or an investigation by the Ombudsman under this Act and, subject to section 10(3), the State shall not be entitled in relation to any such preliminary examin­ation or investigation to any such privilege in respect of the pro­duction of documents or the giving of evidence as is allowed by law in legal proceedings.

(5) The Ombudsman may, if he or she thinks fit, pay to the person affected by an action in respect of which an investigation is held by the Ombudsman and to any other person who attends or furnishes information for the purposes of the investigation—

(a) sums in respect of travelling and subsistence expenses properly incurred by them, and

(b) allowances by way of compensation for loss of their time,

of such amount as may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be prescribed by the Minister.

(6) A statement or admission made by a person in a preliminary examination or an investigation under this Act shall not be admiss­ible as evidence against that person in any criminal proceedings.

(7) Nothing in subsection (3) shall be construed as applying to the taking of any such action as is mentioned in section 4(5) of this Act.

(8) In this section “Chief of Staff” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 1954.


Conduct of Investigations
9.—(1) An investigation by the Ombudsman under this Act shall be conducted otherwise than in public.
(2) Where the Ombudsman proposes to carry out an investigation under this Act into an action that is the subject of a complaint he or she shall afford the Minister, a civil servant, any member of the De­fence Forces, the person who is alleged to have taken or authorised the action or on whose behalf the action is alleged to have been taken or authorised, and any other person who, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, is appropriate, having regard to the complaint, an opportunity to comment on the action and on any allegation con­tained in the complaint.

(3) The procedure for conducting an investigation shall, subject to any regulations under subsection (5), be such as is considered appropriate by the Ombudsman, having regard to all the circum­stances concerned.

(4) The Ombudsman and any investigation officer shall have a right of access to any military installation for the purpose of con­ducting a preliminary examination or an investigation under this Act.

(5) The Minister may make regulations specifying the procedures, including notification procedures, to be applied to the exercise of the right of access referred to in subsection (4) for the purpose of con­ducting a preliminary examination or investigation under this Act.




Secrecy of Information
10.—(1) The Ombudsman or a member of the staff of the Om­budsman (including an investigation officer) shall not disclose any information, document, part of a document or thing obtained by the Ombudsman or an investigation officer in the course of, or for the purpose of, a preliminary examination or an investigation under this Act except for the purposes of—

(a) the preliminary examination or the investigation concerned,

(b) the making, in accordance with this Act, of any statement, report or notification on that preliminary examination or that investigation, or

(c) proceedings for an offence under the Official Secrets Act 1963 that is alleged to have been committed in respect of information or a document, part of a document or thing obtained by the Ombudsman or an investigation officer by virtue of this Act.

(2) The Ombudsman or a member of the staff of the Ombudsman (including an investigation officer) shall not be called upon to give evidence in any proceedings, other than proceedings referred to in subsection (1)(c), of matters coming to his or her knowledge in the course of a preliminary examination or an investigation under this Act.

(3) (a)The Minister may give notice in writing to the Ombuds­man, with respect to any document, part of a document, information or thing specified in the notice, or any class of document, part of a document, information or thing so specified, that, in the opinion of the Minister, the disclos­ure (other than to the Ombudsman or a member of his or her staff including an investigation officer) of that document, that part of a document, that information or that thing or of documents, parts of a document, infor­mation or things of that class, would, for the reasons stated in the notice, be prejudicial to the public interest or to security.

(b) Where a notice is given under this subsection, nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorising or requiring the Ombudsman to communicate to any person or for any purpose any document, part of a document, information or thing specified in the notice or any document, part of a document, information or thing of a class so specified.


(4) Where a notice is given under subsection (3)(a), the Ombuds­man or a member of the staff of the Ombudsman (including an inves­tigation officer) shall not disclose any—

(a) document, part of a document, information or thing speci­fied in the notice, or

(b) class of document, part of a document, information or thing specified in the notice,

to any person or for any purpose and nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorising or requiring the Ombudsman or a member of the staff of the Ombudsman (including an investigation officer) to disclose to any person or for any purpose anything referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).


Committee of Public Accounts
11.—(1) The Ombudsman shall, whenever required to do so by the Committee of Dáil Eíreann established under the Standing Or­ders of Dáil Eíreann n to examine and report to Dáil Eíreann on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, give evidence to that Committee on—

(a) the regularity and propriety of the transactions recorded or required to be recorded in any book or other record of account subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General which the Ombudsman is required to prepare under this Act,

(b) the economy and efficiency of the Ombudsman in the use of resources,

(c) the systems, procedures and practices employed by the Ombudsman for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the operation of the office of the Ombudsman, and

(a) any matter affecting the Ombudsman referred to in a special report of the Comptroller and Auditor General under section 11(2) of the Comptroller and Auditor Gen­eral (Amendment) Act 1993 or in any other report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (in so far as it relates to a matter specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)) that is laid before Daíl Eíreann.

(2) In the performance of his or her duties under this section, the Ombudsman shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of any policy of the Government or a Minister of the Government or on the merits of the objectives of such a policy.


Oireachtas Committees
12.—(1) In this section “committee” means a committee ap­pointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the committee referred to in section 11, the Committee on Members’ Interests of Da´il E´ ireann or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad E´ ireann) or a subcom­mittee of such a committee.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Ombudsman shall, at the request in writing of a committee, attend before it to account for the general administration of the Office of the Ombudsman.

(3) The Ombudsman shall not be required to account before a committee for any matter which is or has been or may at a future time be the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(4) Where the Ombudsman is of the opinion that a matter in re­spect of which he or she is requested to account before a committee is a matter to which subsection (3) applies, he or she shall inform the committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, un­less the information is conveyed to the committee at a time when the Ombudsman is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(5) Where the Ombudsman has informed a committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (4) and the committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) in so far as it related to a matter the subject of that opinion—

(a) the Ombudsman may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for a de­termination as to whether the matter is one to which sub­section (3) applies, or

(b) the chairperson of the committee may, on behalf of the committee, make such an application,

and the High Court may determine the matter.

(6) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (5), the Ombudsman shall not attend before the committee to ac­count for the matter the subject of the application.

(7) Where the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (3) applies, the committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2).

(8) Where the High Court determines that subsection (3) does not apply, the Ombudsman shall attend before the committee to give account for the matter.

Amendment of section 114 of Act of 1954
13. Section 114 of the Act of 1954 is amended-

(a) in subsection (1), by the substitution of “Chief of Staff”for “Minister”,

(b) in subsection (2), by the deletion of “who, if so required by the man, shall report on the matter of complaint to the Minister”, and

(c) by the insertion after subsection (3) of the following sub­sections:

“(3A) The Chief of Staff shall cause every complaint seek­ing redress of wrongs under this section that is made in writing to be notified to the Minister and the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces as soon as practicable following the making of such complaint.

(3B) Where the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces has made a notification in writing in accordance with section 7 of the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004, that section 5(1)(c), section 5(1)(d)(ii), section 5(1)(e)(ii)or section 5(1)(g) of the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004 applies to a complaint made under that Act by an officer or a man, the officer or the man, as the case may be, may submit that complaint to the Minister for determi­nation by him or her.

(3C) The Minister may make regulations concerning the manner in which a notification referred to in subsec­tion (3A) of this section and a report on such notification are to be made and the manner in which a complaint is to be submitted under subsection (3B) and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the regulations may—

(a) specify a period or periods within which such re­ports are to be submitted and complaints re­ferred, and

(b) the form and content of such notifications, re­ports and submissions.”.


Staff
14.—(1) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, appoint such and so many persons to be members of the staff of the Ombudsman as he or she may from time to time determine.

(2) A member of the staff of the Ombudsman shall be a civil servant in the Civil Service of the State.

(3) The appropriate authority, within the meaning of the Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956 and the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 1996 in relation to the staff of the Ombudsman shall be the Ombudsman.

(4) The Ombudsman may delegate to any member of the staff of the Ombudsman any function of the Ombudsman under this Act other than the functions referred to in sections 7(5), 7(7), 11 and 12.

(5) In this section “civil servant in the Civil Service of the State” means a person holding a position in the Civil Service of the State.


Investigation officers.
15.—(1) The Ombudsman may appoint in writing, either gener­ally or in respect of any matter or event, such and so many members of the staff of the Ombudsman to be investigation officers for the purposes of all or any of the provisions of this Act and a person so appointed shall be referred to as an “investigation officer”.

(2) Every investigation officer appointed under this section shall be furnished with a warrant of appointment as an investigation officer, and when exercising any power conferred on him or her by this section as an investigation officer, shall, if requested by a person affected, produce the warrant or a copy of it to that person.

(3) The Ombudsman may revoke an appointment made under subsection (1)
.
(4) An investigation officer may, for the purpose of obtaining any information which may be required in relation to the matter under investigation and in order to enable the Ombudsman to perform his or her functions under this Act, do any one or more of the following—

(a) at all reasonable times enter any premises, including, sub­ject to regulations under section 9(5), a military instal­lation, in which there are reasonable grounds to believe that any activity in connection with a complaint is or has been carried on or that books, records or other docu­ments in relation to a complaint are kept and search and inspect the premises and any books, records or other documents on the premises,

(b) require a member of the Defence Forces or any other per­son to produce to the investigation officer any records and in the case of information that is kept in a non-legible form to reproduce it in a legible form or to give to him or her such information as the investigation officer may reasonably require in relation to any entries in such records,

(c) inspect and take copies of or extracts from any such records, file, papers or electronic information system in, at or on the place, including in the case of information in a non-legible form, copies of or extracts from such infor­mation in a permanent legible form,

(d) require any person to give to the investigation officer any information which the officer may reasonably require in relation to a preliminary examination or an investigation under this Act,

(e) require any person to give to the investigation officer such facilities and assistance within his or her control or re­sponsibilities as are reasonably necessary to enable the investigation officer to exercise any of the powers con­ferred on him or her by or under this Act, and

(f) summon, at any reasonable time, any person to give to the investigation officer any information which he or she may reasonably require and to produce to the investigation officer any records which are in the power or control of that person.


Accounts and Audits
16.—(1) The Ombudsman shall keep in such form as may be ap proved by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, all proper and usual accounts of moneys received or expended by him or her, including an income and expenditure account and a balance sheet and, in particular, shall keep all such special accounts as the Minister may from time to time direct.

(2) Accounts kept in pursuance of this section shall be submitted, not later than 3 months after the end of the financial year to which they relate, by the Ombudsman to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit and, immediately after the audit, a copy of the income and expenditure account, the balance sheet and of any other accounts kept pursuant to this section as the Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Finance, may direct and a copy of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on the accounts shall be presented to the Minister who shall cause copies thereof to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.


Regulations
17.—Every regulation made under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next subsequent 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything pre­viously done thereunder.


Expenses
18.—Any expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas


Short title and commencement
19.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Ombudsman (DefenceForces) Act 2004.

(2) This Act comes into operation on such day or days as the Government may appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes and different provisions


Related Publications
29 October 2002
Defence Act 1954

Makes further and better provision in relation to the defence of the State and the Defence Forces and makes provision for other matters connected with or incidental to the matters aforsaid
29 October 2003
Defence Acts 1954 to 1998 and Court-Martial Appeals Act 1983 Restatement

This publication is a Restatement of the Defence Acts 1954 to 1998 and the Courts-Martial Appeals Act 1983.
13 February 2017
Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme

Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme Evaluation Report
29 September 2003
Defence Forces Policy on Interpersonal Relationships in the Defence Forces

The legislation and the Codes of Practice have relevance for the Defence Forces, from a legal and ‘best practice’ perspective, and in drawing up the revised policy and procedures on Sexual Harassment, Harassment and Bullying, full account has been taken of the provisions of this legislation and the associated Codes of Practice. The aim of this Instruction is to set down policy and procedures regarding interpersonal relationships in the Defence Forces in order to deter unacceptable behavior and promote a service environment based on mutual respect and professionalism
24 March 2015
Defence Forces (Forensic Evidence) Bill 2015

General Scheme of Defence Forces (Forensic Evidence) Bill 2015.
29 June 2006
Defence (Amendment) Bill - 2006

An act to authorise the despatch of contingents or members of the Permanent Defence Forces for service outside of the state and to provide for related matters
8 February 2016
Independent review re Air Corps Aircraft Inspectors

Independent review into allegations concerning the certification, qualification and experience of Air Corps Aircraft Inspectors
29 January 2005
Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004

This act provides for the appointment and functions of an Ombudman for the Defence Forces. This acts also amends the Defence Act 1954 and provides for related matters
4 April 2007
Retention And Recruitment Of Women In The Defence Forces

Research intended to identify areas where action can be taken to maximise the number of women applicants to the Defence Forces, hence increasing the number enlisting. In addition, areas to be addressed for retention were also to be harnessed. This reoprt was carried out
30 June 2006
Review of Minimum Height Standards for Department of Defence Personnel Intakes

The Minister for Defence requested that the Defence Forces produce a report on the issue of Minimum Height Standards for the Defence Forces. The current standard is 162.56 cms (5ft 4 ins) for both male and female applicants. The context of the Ministers request relates to his stated commitment to encourage increased female participation in the Defence Forces as part of the Government’s wider equality agenda programme. This is the report
20 November 2012
Value for Money Review of the Reserve Defence Force

VFM Review of the Reserve Defence Force
20 July 2017
Workplace Climate in the Defence Forces

Workplace Climate in the Defence Forces Phase 2: Results of the Focus Group Research

Contact Us

Department of Defence
Station Road
Newbridge
Co. Kildare
W12 AD93

Tel 00 353 45 492000
Fax 00 353 45 492017
* loCall 1890 251890
** Or call 0761 001 607

info@defence.ie

eolas@defence.ie

* Note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers
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