Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004
7.—(1) Where, following the making of a complaint, the Ombudsman decides not to carry out an investigation or to discontinue an investigation, he or she shall notify the complainant and any person concerned with the complaint, stating the reasons, in writing, for the decision.
(2) Where the Ombudsman conducts an investigation under this Act into an action that is the subject of a complaint, he or she shall send a statement in writing of the results of the investigation to—
( a) the Minister and to all persons concerned with the complaint, and
( b) 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 that is the subject of a complaint, it appears to the Ombudsman that the action adversely affected the complainant and is an action falling within subparagraphs (i) to (viii) of section 4(2)(b) he or she may recommend to the Minister—
( a) that the action 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,
and, if the Ombudsman thinks fit to do so, he or she may request the Minister to notify him or her within a specified time of a response to the recommendation.
(4) Where the Ombudsman carries out an investigation under this Act into an action that is the subject of a complaint he or she shall notify the complainant of the result of the investigation, the recommendation (if any) made under subsection (3) and the response (if any) made by the Minister.
(5) Where it appears to the Ombudsman that the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to a recommendation under subsection (3) are not satisfactory, the Ombudsman 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 shall not make a finding or criticism adverse to a person under this section without having provided that person with an opportunity to consider, and make representations in respect of, the finding or criticism to the Ombudsman.
(7) The Ombudsman shall, as soon as may be, but not later than 4 months after the end of each year, cause a report on the performance of his or her functions under the Act to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas 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.
(8) An annual report referred to in subsection (7) shall be in such form and regarding such matters as the Ombudsman thinks fit or the Minister may direct.
(9) 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 in making a report to either House of the Oireachtas for the purpose of this Act, and
( b) the publication by the Ombudsman—
(i) to a person mentioned in subsection (1) of a notification sent to that person in accordance with that subsection,
(ii) to a person mentioned in subsection (2) of a statement sent to that person in accordance with that subsection,
(iii) to the Minister of a recommendation made to the Minister by the Ombudsman in accordance with subsection (3), and
(iv) to the complainant of a notification given to the complainant by the Ombudsman under subsection (4).