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Does the Public Sector Ombudsman serve a useful function The Ombudsmans mission statement sums up what the office tries to achieve Helping to achieve a public service which is open fair and accountable The job of the Ombudsman is to investigate complaints from members of the public who feel they have been unfairly treated by certain public bodies or on his own initiative He believes as I do that public bodies are becoming more conscious of citizens and as consumers of their services we have the right to be heard to receive sufficient information to assistance and representation and to be given reasons and the right to be told what solutions are available to us I believe that the office of the Ombudsman offers a very valuable service to society with the red tape and procedures that need to be followed in some institutions and department to lodge a complaint it can be taxing in itself let alone trying to resolve issues to closure The office of the Ombudsman has the power to investigate all Government Departments such as the health board Local authorities and An Post In its 18 years of existence the office has dealt with over 50000 complaints The Ombudsman is entirely independent and impartial Impartiality requires independence and independence in turn requires statutory backing In addition to being independent and impartial the office must above all be effective There are four aspects to this First public awareness of and access to the Ombudsman Secondly the powers of investigation thirdly power to propose adequate remedies and fourth effectiveness in securing compliance with findings or recommendations As a tax paying resident in Ireland I believe that as users of the public services we should be able to put forward any issues or arguments before decisions adverse to them are taken we need to be aware of remedies or avenues open to us to appeal There is no charge
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