Concern at Funding Challenges for Ombudsman

By PDFORRA

PDFORRA, which represents soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Defence Forces, welcomes the report of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces, published to day. This second report highlights the need for a Defence Forces Ombudsman – as the numbers of personnel using the service has significantly increased in the past year.

Simon Devereaux, Deputy General Secretary of PDFORRA, said to day, “We welcome this excellent report, however, we are disappointed that this vital office is ‘challenged’ in terms of staffing and resources. It is imperative that in an ‘increasing workload’ environment the necessary and deserved resources are made available. We ask Minister O’ Dea to ensure that the required funding to meet the current and future workload is provided”

The report shows a remarkable 192% increase in activity in 2007. It is clear that members of the Defence Forces of all ranks now realise the importance of this impartial and independent office in assessing grievances in a wide range of areas. All of us are aware of the widespread grievances in regard to promotion in the Defence Forces and it is not surprising to find a 56% increase in activity in the category. As noted by the Ombudsman – it is difficult to correct an injustice in relation to promotion, when established, as the process will have moved on and others promoted into the position. PDFORRA believes that this problem can be solved, if Defence Forces management follow precedent set on this issue in the Complaints Inquiry Office – and address the current flaw in the overall process.

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