An Bord Pleanála

Inquiry Officer and complaints under the Disability Act 2005

Inquiry Officer

Colm Walsh is An Bord Pleanála's Inquiry Officer under section 39(1) of the Disability Act. The Inquiry Officer responds to complaints made under section 38 of the Disability Act 2005 about An Bord Pleanála's possible failure to comply with sections 25, 26, 27, 28 or 29 of the Disability Act 2005. To help An Bord Pleanála's Inquiry Officer respond to your complaint, it must be in writing and sent by email, post, fax or delivered to our office.

You or a person on your behalf can make a complaint. Persons who can make a complaint on your behalf are:

    • A spouse, partner, parent or relative,
    • A guardian or a person acting in loco parentis to that person,
    • A legal representative,
    • A personal advocate, selected by the Citizens Information Board to represent that person, or
    • another person advocating on behalf of that person with his or her consent.

There is a checklist below of information which will help the Inquiry Officer investigate and respond to complaints. However, you are not required to use this checklist and if you need assistance in making a complaint about accessible services, you can contact the Access Officer or Inquiry Officer who will try and assist you as far as possible in making your complaint.

Check List for complaint under the Disability Act 2005

    1. All complaints must be in writing and can include by fax or email.
    2. You should state that you wish to make a complaint under section 38 of the Disability Act 2005.
    3. Your complaint should include the following information:
      • Your name, address, contact telephone number and e-mail address.
      • Whether you were looking for:
      • Access to information.
      • Access to a service.
      • Access to a public building or public place.

      Some information you may wish to include:
      • Whether you were seeking access for yourself or you are making the complaint on behalf of someone else?
      • What An Bord Pleanála section were you dealing with?
      • Who did you meet? If possible, please provide staff member's name or names.
      • What date or dates was this?
      • What were you looking for? Please provide details.
      • How and why was the service or information or building inaccessible to you or the person you are complaining on behalf of?
      • What was the response of the person(s) you were dealing with?
      • Were any commitments made to you that the service or information or building would be made accessible in a future date? Please provide details.
      • Why are you dissatisfied with the response or commitments made?
    4. You do not pay a fee for a section 38 Disability Act complaint.
    5. When ready please send to An Bord Pleanála by one of the methods below:

    Post or Hand deliver:
    Section 38 Disability Act 2005 Complaint
    Chief Officer
    An Bord Pleanála
    64 Marlborough Street
    Dublin 1
    D01 V902

    Email:
    bord@pleanala.ie with subject line "Section 38 Disability Act 2005 complaint"

    Fax:
    01 872 2684

What happens after you make a complaint?
When the Chief Officer receives your complaint, it will be referred to the Inquiry Officer. After receiving your complaint, the Inquiry Officer will:

    • acknowledge your written complaint within 5 working days.
    • examine the complaint to establish if it relates to a possible failure by An Bord Pleanála to comply with Sections 25, 26, 27, 28 or 29 of the Disability Act 2005.
    • start their investigation unless the Inquiry Officer believes that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious. The Inquiry Officer will notify you and the Chief Officer of a decision that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious.

Investigation

    • The Inquiry Officer will take the information you have provided and investigate your complaint in private. They will keep a written record of their investigation and prepare a written report.
    • Further information may be required to help the Inquiry Officer investigate your complaint. You may be given a deadline for supplying this information
    • During their investigation, the Inquiry Officer may consult with all parties they feel is appropriate about this matter.
    • They may also interview any person they feel is appropriate to find out further information. This may include you or the person who has made the complaint.

Inquiry Officer's reply and report

    • The Inquiry Officer will reply within 21 working days. If it is not possible to reply within 21 working days, the Inquiry Officer will contact you or the person who is making the complaint on your behalf to notify you that the reply will take longer.
    • The Inquiry Officer's report will set out their findings. It will also contain their determination if there has or has not been a failure by An Bord Pleanála to comply with the relevant provision of the Disability Act.
    • In the event that the Inquiry Officer finds there has been such a failure, the report will state what steps are required to correct the situation and for An Bord Pleanála to be in compliance. .
    • You will receive a copy of the report and a copy will also be sent to the Chief Officer. This concludes the Inquiry Officer's investigation.

Internal review of Inquiry Officer's findings and determination

    • If you are not satisfied with the Inquiry Officer's findings and determination, you can ask for an internal review of their findings and determination. The internal review will be carried out by a more senior member of staff.
    • The officer carrying out the internal review will acknowledge your request for an internal review within 5 working days.
    • They will re-examine your complaint and they will reply within 21 working days.
    • The reply will say if the Internal Review Officer has decided to uphold the Inquiry Officer's findings or determination or to uphold your complaint. If the decision is to uphold your complaint, the reply will state what steps are required to correct the situation and for An Bord Pleanála to be in compliance. This concludes internal review of the Inquiry Officer's findings and determinations.

Right of appeal to the Office of the Ombudsman
If you are not satisfied with An Bord Pleanála's response to your complaint, you may wish to refer the matter to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Office of the Ombudsman Contact Details:

Address:
Office of the Ombudsman,
18 Lower Leeson Street,
Dublin 2.

Telephone:
LoCall 1890 22 30 30

Fax:
01 639 5674

Email:
ombudsman@ombudsman.ie

Website:
www.ombudsman.ie.

Further Information
If you require further information or would like to request this document in an alternative format, please contact us by

Telephone:
(01) 858 8100
LoCall:
1890 275 175

Writing to:
Query on Section 38 Disability Act 2005 Complaints
An Bord Pleanála
64 Marlborough Street
Dublin 1
D01 V902

Email:
bord@pleanala.ie
with subject line "Query on Section 38 Disability Act 2005 Complaints"





Last modified: 02/05/2018