Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Ceisteanna (116)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

116. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether it is appropriate for the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman to acknowledge and respond to routine representations from Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas; if the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman is obliged to have a dedicated email address for Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas to make representations on behalf of persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51973/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Firstly, I must point out that the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) is independent in the performance of his statutory functions. I have no role in the day to day workings of the office or in the decisions which he takes.

The Ombudsman has informed me that the FSPO adheres to the framework set out in the "Protocol for the Provision of Information to Members of the Oireachtas by State Bodies under the aegis of Government Departments/Offices" – circular 25/2016.

I understand that the FSPO wrote to all members of the Houses of the Oireachtas informing them of the Protocol for the Provision of Information to Members of the Oireachtas by State Bodies and providing a dedicated email address for the timely provision of information to members of the Oireachtas. The e-mail address for Members of the Oireachtas is oireachtas@fspo.ie.

On the issue more generally, the FSPO acknowledges and responds to representations from members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and has communicated with Deputies asking various question on a number of occasions.

It should be noted that due to data protection legalisation the FSPO cannot discuss the details of a complaint with any person other than the party to the complaint without written authorisation of the party to the complaint.

The FSPO welcomes and encourages feedback on the services it provides. There is a wealth of information on its website www.fspo.ie. In addition, its Publication Scheme has been prepared under Section 8 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2014. It is designed to facilitate the provision of information to the greatest extent possible, except for information exempted under the FOI Act. Under the FOI legislation, the FSPO cannot comment on individual complaints.