The position of Pensions Ombudsman was provided for under the Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2002. I am very pleased, as the first holder of the office, to present this Strategy Report to the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Coughlan, T.D.
Although I was appointed at the end of April, 2003, the Regulations that completed my terms of reference date from last September. In between there were accommodation, equipment, recruitment and planning matters to be dealt with. I am grateful for the support given to me by the Minister and the officials of the Department of Social and Family Affairs, both during the setup phase andafterwards.
In setting out the strategy to be adopted by my office over the next three years, I am conscious that there is something of a vacuum in terms of information. Although there has been a steady flow of enquiries and complaints since the office opened, it is not clear to what extent this is an indication of future volumes. The results of a sustained campaign of giving information to the public will give us a better idea of long-term demand for the service.
To be successful, any strategy must have within it the flexibility to change, as varying conditions warrant. This strategy will therefore be kept under review and appropriately adapted to any changes in circumstances over the years, rather than simply being formally overhauled every three years, as is required by law. I would like to take this opportunity to record my thanks to my staff, who have done so much to establish the office on a firm and efficient footing, which is so important to our long-term success.
One can download the statement in full below.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to View/Download/Print these files. A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from the Adobe website - www.adobe.com.
NOTE: It may take some time for the Adobe Reader to download.