Written Answers. - Defence Forces Ombudsman.

Michael Creed

Question:

208 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Defence if his Department intends to appoint an Ombudsman for the Defence Forces; and if so, when this appointment will be made. [8256/01]

The question of the appointment of an Ombudsman for the Defence Forces is being dealt with under the conciliation and arbitration scheme for the Permanent Defence Force. The terms of the scheme, which have been agreed with the Defence Forces Representative Associations, provide that discussions at conciliation and arbitration are confidential to the parties involved. Accordingly, the Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment in detail on this issue.

Discussions are taking place with the representative associations. As soon as those discussions are completed, I will make the necessary legislative arrangements to give effect to the Ombudsman proposal.

I would like to add that, under the provisions of the Ombudsman Act, 1980, military personnel already have the right to make complaints against my Department to the Ombudsman.