Ombudsman for Children Act 2002

Reports, etc.

13

13.—(1) In any case where a complaint is made to the Ombudsman for Children in relation to an action and he or she decides not to carry out an investigation under this Act into the action or to discontinue such an investigation, he or she shall send to the child who made the complaint, or to the person who made the complaint on behalf of the child—

( a) a statement in writing of his or her reasons for the decision, and

( b) if the decision follows the receipt by the Ombudsman for Children of a request under section 11(4) , a copy of the request and of the statement in writing of the reasons for the request attached to the request,

and he or she shall send to such other (if any) person as he or she considers appropriate such statement in writing in relation to the matter as he or she considers appropriate.

(2) In any case where the Ombudsman for Children conducts an investigation under this Act, he or she shall send a statement in writing of the result of the investigation—

( a) to the public body, school or voluntary hospital concerned,

( b) (i) to the Department of State in which are comprised the business and functions of, or which performs functions in relation to, any public body (other than a Department of State) to whom a statement is sent under paragraph (a),

(ii) where the investigation relates to an action taken by or on behalf of a school, to the Department of Education and Science, or

F10 [ (iii) where the investigation relates to an action taken by or on behalf of a voluntary hospital, to the Health Service Executive, ]

( c) any other person who has or, in a case where a complaint in relation to the action the subject of the investigation has been made to the Ombudsman for Children, is alleged in the complaint to have taken or authorised the action, and

( d) 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, it appears to the Ombudsman for Children that the action adversely affected a child and fell within paragraph (b) of section 8 or paragraph (ii) of section 9(1) , as the case may be, he or she may recommend to the public body, school or voluntary hospital concerned—

( a) that the matter in relation to which the action was taken 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 for Children,

and, if the Ombudsman for Children thinks fit to do so, he or she may request the public body, school or voluntary hospital concerned to notify him or her within a specified time of its, his or her response to the recommendation.

(4) Where the Ombudsman for Children carries out an investigation under this Act into an action the subject of a complaint to him or her, he or she shall notify the child who made the complaint, or the person who made the complaint on behalf of the child, of the result of the investigation, the recommendation (if any) made by him or her under subsection (3) in relation to the matter and the response (if any) made to it by the public body, school or voluntary hospital to whom it was given.

(5) Where it appears to the Ombudsman for Children that the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to a recommendation under subsection (3) are not satisfactory, he or she 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 for Children shall not make a finding or criticism adverse to a person in a statement under subsection (1) or (2), or in a recommendation or report under subsection (3) or (5), without having afforded to the person an opportunity to consider the finding or criticism and to make representations in relation to it to him or her.

(7) The Ombudsman for Children shall cause a report on the performance of his or her functions under this Act to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas annually 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. The terms of a request under section 11(4) and of the statement in writing of the reasons for the request attached to the request shall be included in a report under this section.

(8) 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 for Children in making a report to either House of the Oireachtas for the purpose of this Act,

( b) the publication by the Ombudsman for Children—

(i) to a person mentioned in subsection (1) of a statement sent to such person in pursuance of that subsection,

(ii) to a person mentioned in subsection (2) of a statement sent to such person in pursuance of that subsection,

(iii) to a person mentioned in subsection (3) of a recommendation made to such person by the Ombudsman for Children in pursuance of that subsection,

(iv) to a person mentioned in subsection (4) of a notification given to such person pursuant to that subsection.