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Defence Forces Ombudsman says public sector moratorium affecting redress

Annual report’s highlights are available in four languages after a record number of international visitors to the Ombudsman’s website.

File photo of a Defence Forces training event.
File photo of a Defence Forces training event.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

OF THE 116 complaints received by the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces last year, most related to issues regarding the transparency and fairness of selection or promotion procedures within the forces.

Ombudsman Paulyn Marrinan Quinn SC issued her annual report for 2010 this morning in Dublin.

She warned that the moratorium on public sector recruitment has had a serious impact by making it more difficulty for redress to be offered to members of the Defence Forces who have made complaints.

Speaking at the launch this morning, Marrinan Quinn said:

Many cases referred to my office concerned matters to do with promotion and selection procedural fairness and transparency.  To this end, when a case is upheld, the most appropriate redress is often another promotion competition; an opportunity to serve on an overseas mission or a chance to acquire a place on a career course.

However, given the impact of the downturn, fewer remedies of this nature can become effective.

Here are the details of the other complaints received in 2010:

  • 28 related to bullying or inappropriate behaviour
  • 14 were about career-related administrative processes
  • 11 regarded non-selection for career courses
  • 9 were made about maladministration within the forces
  • 6 related to non-selection for overseas service

The Ombudsman said her office had received positive feedback “from many complainants who indicated that, despite not securing an immediate redress for themselves” were pleased their appeal was upheld and they felt vindicated for pursuing their grievance.

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The 2010 annual report’s highlights have also been published in French, Spanish and German because of a record number of visitors to the Ombudsman’s site from 106 different countries. The report is also available (in full) as audio files.

Read and listen to the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces report in full >

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