Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Ceisteanna (170)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

170. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of complaints submitted to his Department in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of appeals made with respect to the outcome of such complaints; the number referred to the Office of the Ombudsman; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13782/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

From time to time my Department receives comments from members of the public giving feedback on how we could improve our services both at home and at our 82 Missions abroad. We are committed to constantly improving how we conduct our business and to ensuring that our staff across all offices, both in Ireland and our global network of Embassies and Consulates, act in a highly professional manner at all times.

Within my Department, the Passport Service received more than 733,000 and 780,000 passport applications in 2016 and 2017 respectively.  In 2018, in excess of 862,000 applications were received. With this volume of applications, the Passport Service deals with the highest number of customers of any of the Divisions within my Department. 

The Passport Service has a formal complaints procedure in place to allow citizens to give feedback on the quality of the service they receive. The Passport Service aims to investigate and respond to complaints within 20 working days.

The number of complaints received for the years requested is detailed below:

 Year 

Number of complaints

 2017

 92

 2018

 118

 2019

 24*

*To February 28th

 A complainant who is not satisfied with the response from the Department may choose to refer the matter to the Office of the Ombudsman for the consideration of that office.  The number of complaints referred to the Ombudsman of the complaints noted above is detailed below:

Year

Number of complaints referred to the Ombudsman

 2017

 3

 2018

 10

 2019

 3*

*To February 28th 

Questions Nos. 171 and 172 answered with Question No. 137.