Northern Ireland Ombudsman
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The Northern Ireland Ombudsman combines two public offices, the Assembly Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints.
The Office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman was established in 1969, but its current governing statutes are the Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and the Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996. His role is to deal with complaints of maladministration by government and public bodies in Northern Ireland. Unlike the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, he has no role in investigating individual ethical conduct by councillors.
The Ombudsman is appointed by the Queen. The current Ombudsman, holding both offices, is Tom Frawley CBE, who was appointed in 2000. Notable previous holders of the office include Stephen McGonagle, Jill McIvor and Maurice Hayes.
While many ombudsman offices also function as the national human rights institution, in Northern Ireland that is the role of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which operates a memorandum of understanding with the Ombudsman.
Bodies the Ombudsman may investigate
As Assembly Ombudsman the Ombudsman may investigate:
- Northern Ireland Executive Departments
- Northern Ireland government agencies
- The Administrative functions of tribunals
As Commissioner for Complaints the Ombudsman may investigate:
- Local councils
- Education and library boards
- Harbour authorities
- The Health and Social Care Board
- Health and Social Care Trusts
- Special Health and Social Services Agencies
- The Housing Executive
- Housing associations
- Certain other public bodies listed in the Order
By the Commissioner for Complaints (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, his functions include complaints about doctors, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists providing family health services and complaints by other health care professionals in the Health and Personal Social Services. This includes complaints about the exercise of clinical judgement by health care professionals.
- Adjudication Panel for England
- Commissioner for Children and Young People, Northern Ireland
- Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000
- Standards Board for England
- Standards Commission for Scotland
- Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
- "Northern Ireland Ombudsman". Ni-ombudsman.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996