Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1842)

Catherine Murphy


1842. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of complaints her Department received under the customer service charter in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; if her attention has been drawn to issues and-or problems in having complaints registered; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35643/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) is committed to delivering an excellent Customer Service experience. My Department aims to provide the best possible service at all times, ensuring all customers are served in a fair, courteous and timely manner, be informed of their rights and entitlements, be provided with full and clear information and have their privacy respected.

If a person is dissatisfied with the standard of service that they have received, in the first instance, they are advised to convey their concerns to the section of the Department with which they have been dealing. If the issue is not resolved to their satisfaction, a person can submit a formal complaint, either locally or to the Department's dedicated Customer Service Unit.

The predominant way that such feedback is received is online, using the Customer Feedback Form, which is accessed on the Department's website at:

Alternatively, a person can make contact by phone, letter, email or speak to a member of staff in any of our Intreo offices around the country.

Once a comment, compliment or complaint is received, an acknowledgement is issued within three working days including a reference number. Complaints are then forwarded to the Customer Service Officer(s) within the relevant business area(s) to be investigated and responded to within 15 working days. If it is not possible to issue a response within that timeframe, an interim response will issue and provide an expected completion date. All complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly and impartially, and the outcome of the investigation will be reflected in the final response.

If the response is not satisfactory, a review of the complaint can be requested, with an explanation to why they are unhappy with the original response. A review is conducted by another Customer Service Officer, in many cases the line manager of the original responder.

If the review does not resolve the issue, the complainant is advised that they can contact the Office of the Ombudsman to seek to have the matter examined by that office.

1,045 complaints/ comments were registered in 2017.

1,810 complaints/ comments registered in 2018.

971 complaints/ comments registered in the year to end July 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.