Any individual can make a complaint if the Department has not complied with sections 25, 26, 27 or 28 of the Disability Act 2005.
A complaint can be made in person, by telephone or in writing by letter, fax or e-mail.
The complaint should be made to the Inquiry Officer at
Inquiry Officer, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Grattan House, Grattan Business Centre, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Telephone: 057 869 4324 Fax: 057 869 4287 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Inquiry Officer will screen the complaint to establish if it relates to an alleged failure by the Department to comply with sections 25, 26, 27 or 28 of the Disability Act 2005. However, if this is not the case, the complainant will be advised of alternative avenues of redress.
The Inquiry Officer will maintain an electronic and paper file for each complaint and will acknowledge receipt of the complaint as soon as possible but no later than 5 working days after receipt.
All complaints will be logged and the complainant will be informed of the contact details of the Inquiry Officer and referred to these procedures.
The Inquiry Officer may request further details/information from the complainant and, if deemed necessary, the Inquiry Officer will consult with all relevant parties/sections regarding the matter.
Information requested should be supplied to the Inquiry Officer within a maximum period of two weeks from date of request. In the absence of a response, written reminders or telephone reminders are made as judged appropriate. In the absence of receipt of a submission from the complainant the Inquiry Officer should proceed with the investigation.
In the course of the investigation it may be necessary to interview the complainant or staff members within the organisation, e.g. to discuss questions of interpretation or to elicit information. A record will be maintained. At the end of each interview, a check will be carried out to ensure that the account contained in the notes is accurate.
All interviews will be arranged in advance.
All staff members are obliged to co-operate fully with the Inquiry Officer's investigation.
Examination of Case and Report
The Inquiry Officer will examine all information received and record findings. Where a failure is identified, he/she will outline the steps to be taken to ensure future compliance.
The Inquiry Officer will prepare a written report of the results of the investigation setting out his/her findings together with a determination in relation to:-
* whether there has been a failure by the Department to comply with the relevant provision of the Disability Act, and * if such a determination indicates that there has been such a failure, the steps required to be taken by the Department to comply with the relevant provision of the Act.
This will be completed within 20 working days from the date of receipt of the complaint where possible, or as soon as possible in instances where information / data are not readily available.
The Inquiry Officer will prepare a written report of the results of the investigation.
Notification of Decision
A summary of the findings and decision of the report will be given to the complainant and the Director of Corporate Affairs.
The complainant will be advised of his or her right of appeal to the Ombudsman at the Office of the Ombudsman, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.
If the determination of the Inquiry Officer is that the Department has failed to comply with a provision of the Act, the Secretary-General will be informed and the report will outline the steps required for compliance.
Closing a Complaint
Once the complainant has been given the findings of the report and been notified of the decision, the complaint file may be closed.
The electronic and paper file will record the result, date file closed and any other relevant details.
Statistics on the operation of the complaints procedure will be included in the Department's Annual Report. Publication of this Complaints Procedure
This Procedure is available on the Department's website and on request.