Customer service


GSOC is a civil service organisation and staff members are civil servants. As such, our standards and behaviour are governed by the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. This document sets out the standards required by all civil servants in the discharge of their duties and sets out a clear framework within which we must work. The Code specifies that civil servants must maintain high standards of service in all of their dealings with the public.

Customer Charter

We will meet your needs by:

  • Listening to you. We will respond to your concerns and treat you fairly and with respect.
  • Processing complaints efficiently. We will do all we can to ensure that you have confidence in our decisions.
  • Being professional and courteous. We will abide by the principles of Quality Customer Service, do what we promise to do and endeavor to give you the right information in a timely manner.
  • Being open and honest at all times. We will answer your questions as fully as we can and will make sure our answers are as simple and easy-to-understand as possible.
  • Protecting your privacy. We will keep accurate records of your dealings with us and keep those records safe.
  • Treating everyone equally. We will strive to make sure that our service takes account of any special needs or requirements that you may have.
  • Being accessible. We will be available to answer your questions in person, by telephone, by letter or electronically.

Standards and Conduct

GSOC is a civil service organisation and staff members are civil servants. As such, our standards and behaviour are governed by the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. This document sets out the standards required by all civil servants in the discharge of their duties and sets out a clear framework within which we must work. Based on the above, GSOC has written a Code of Ethics to guide its staff in their behaviour.

GSOC Code of Ethics

Introduction

  1. This Code of Ethics for the guidance of staff of the Garda Ombudsman has two principal purposes:

    A. To assist staff in fulfilling their obligations under the law and, in particular, their obligations under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003.

    B. To assist staff in their two objectives, set out in the Garda Síochána Act 2005 of (a) providing a system for dealing with complaints concerning members of the Garda Síochána that is efficient, effective and fair to all concerned and (b) promoting public confidence in that system.

  2. The Code should be read in conjunction with the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.
  3. Members and staff of the Garda Ombudsman are required to discharge their duties in accordance with the Code and in accordance with the law, as set down in all relevant legislation and lawful regulation. Any breach may lead to an investigation and possible sanction, either by way of criminal prosecution or disciplinary process.
  4. Members and staff of the Garda Ombudsman will, at no time, whether on duty or otherwise, behave in a manner likely to bring discredit on the organisation.

Equality and Respect

  1. Garda Ombudsman personnel will seek to establish truth, based on evidence, lawfully obtained in their inquiries, their case work and other areas of operation.
  2. Garda Ombudsman personnel will treat all persons with whom they have professional contact with equality, dignity and respect and will operate in accordance with Irish equality legislation.
  3. No person with whom the Garda Ombudsman has contact will be discriminated against on grounds of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief, race, membership of the Travelling Community, political convictions, place of birth or residence, occupational status or any other status.
  4. Garda Ombudsman personnel will treat all persons with whom they have professional contact with courtesy, understanding, politeness and self-control.

Independence and Building Confidence

  1. Garda Ombudsman personnel will be aware of and will maintain the independence of the organisation from the Garda Síochána, The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and both statutory and non-governmental bodies whose functions may touch upon the area of criminal justice.
  2. Garda Ombudsman personnel will disclose to the Commission any private interest, or potential conflict of interests that may have a bearing upon their work or that could be seen as such. In such cases the Commission will seek to resolve any issues in a way that protects the public interest.
  3. Information received in the course of their duties will be treated as strictly confidential, within the law, by GSOC personnel. Where information relating to Garda Ombudsman business is to be disseminated, this will be done only within the channels and processes set down for the operation of the Office of Head of Communications and Research or other, properly-authorised channels.
  4. Garda Ombudsman personnel will ensure, insofar as possible, that all actions in pursuit of their duties are discharged at the highest levels of efficiency, accuracy, thoroughness and completeness.

Integrity

  1. Garda Ombudsman personnel shall take professional decisions on a basis of personal disinterestedness and not on the basis of any improper gain.
  2. Garda Ombudsman personnel shall not accept any gifts or similar favours unless authorized by the Commission. Any such offers or gratuities should be declared to the Commission and personnel must act within the law at all times.
  3. Personnel of the Garda Ombudsman must report to the Commission any proceedings or allegations of a criminal act, or any investigations by the Garda Síochána into any such allegations against them.
  4. Garda Ombudsman personnel shall not place themselves under any obligation to individuals or organizations that might influence, or be seen to influence, them in the carrying out of their duties. Where any doubt arises in such situations, personnel will refer the matter to their superior authority.
  5. Garda Ombudsman personnel shall not commit any act of corruption or dishonesty. They will oppose and report to their superiors any and all such acts coming to their attention. They will be supported by colleagues and their superiors on any occasion on which they do so.
  6. Garda Ombudsman personnel will operate to the highest standards of probity and propriety in the stewardship of public funds, equipment and other resources.

Presentation and Personal Behaviour

  1. Personnel of the Garda Ombudsman shall never be unfit to carry out their professional duties as a result of alcohol or substance abuse. Personnel on ‘call out’ duties, in particular, will ensure that they always meet these criteria.
  2. Garda Ombudsman personnel will always maintain a professional image and demeanor when on duty. In particular, they will never employ threatening or overbearing behaviour; they will not use foul language in any professional context; they will not use language that is sarcastic or demeaning of persons with whom they have professional contact.
  3. Garda Ombudsman personnel will, where requested and where it is appropriate, identify themselves as such. They will take whatever reasonable measures may be necessary to ensure that persons with whom they have professional dealings are aware that Garda Ombudsman staff are not members of the Garda Síochána.

GSOC Investigations and Operations

  1. Garda Ombudsman personnel will not knowingly or through neglect make any false, misleading or inaccurate statement in regard to their professional functions. Nor will they alter, destroy, mutilate or improperly dispose of any record, document or other items that may have a bearing on their functions or operations.
  2. Garda Ombudsman personnel engaged in investigations or case work will follow the principle that gardaí who are the subject of either a criminal or a disciplinary inquiry are to be presumed innocent until lawfully adjudged to be otherwise.
  3. Garda Ombudsman personnel will be aware of the special needs of persons, whether complainants, gardaí complained against, witnesses or family members, who may be vulnerable. They will take measures and offer guidance to mitigate such vulnerability where necessary. They will also be aware of and will take appropriate measures to protect and support witnesses where there is the risk or fear of intimidation.
  4. Garda Ombudsman designated officers will use their powers, immunities and privileges, provided for under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, only when it is lawful, necessary and proportionate and in accordance with the specific provisions of the Act.
  5. Persons who are detained or who voluntarily present themselves for interview by Garda Ombudsman personnel will be treated at all times with dignity and in a human manner and in accordance with their rights at law.

Criminal Conviction

  1. As is required throughout the Civil Service, if an Officer acquires a criminal conviction, whatever the nature of the offence, he/she must immediately inform, in writing, his/her manager and the Assistant Principal Officer responsible for Human Resources.
  2. Personnel of the Garda Ombudsman must report to the Commission any proceedings or allegations of a criminal act, or any investigations by the Garda Síochána into any such allegations against them.

GSOC Child Safeguarding Statement

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission’s Child Safeguarding Statement sets out the service we provide and the principles and procedures to be observed to ensure, as far as practicable, that a child availing of our service is safe from harm. We have included an assessment of risk of harm to a child while availing of our service and specifies the procedures in place to manage any identified risks. The Child Safeguarding Statement applies to all of our office locations (Dublin, Cork, Longford).

The full statement can be downloaded below.

 

Downloads

File Type File Name File Size Last Updated

GSOC Child Safeguarding Statement

GSOC Child Safeguarding Statement 2017
1.27 MB 11 Dec 2017

Complaints About GSOC Staff

GSOC is a civil service organisation and staff members are civil servants. As such, our standards and behaviour are governed by the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. This document sets out the standards required by all civil servants, including GSOC staff, in the discharge of their duties and sets out a clear framework within which we must work.

Based on the above, GSOC has written a Complaints Process, outlined below, through which complaints about any GSOC staff should be handled.

As per the Civil Service Disciplinary Code, the Complaints Process provides for the management of conduct of GSOC staff (including dealing with complaints about conduct of staff) to be undertaken by line managers, including disciplinary action if required.

If someone is unhappy with the conduct of a designated officer in the context of a criminal investigation, they may also write to the Minister for Justice and Equality. The Minister has the power, under s.109 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, to “request the Chief Justice to invite a judge to inquire into the conduct of a designated officer in performing functions under section 98 or 99….” On completing the inquiry, the appointed judge shall report its results to the Minister who shall forward a copy of the report to the Ombudsman Commission for such action as it considers appropriate in the circumstances.

Process for dealing with complaints about GSOC staff

  • All complaints must be in writing – so the complainant must complete a complaint form or submit a signed, written complaint.
  • If a complaint is made by telephone, e-mail or verbally at Reception, the complainant should be given a complaint form and the process explained.
  • All completed complaint forms should be returned to: Corporate Services, Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, 150 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
  • Date of receipt of written complaint is logged by Corporate Services in the Complaints Database.
  • Receipt of the complaint is acknowledged.
  • Complaint form is forwarded to the Manager in the relevant area/unit within 10 working days.
  • Corporate Services records when the complaint has been forwarded to the relevant Manager and will retain a copy of the complaint.
  • The Manager will deal with the complaint, including corresponding with the complainant, within the designated timeframe.
  • The Manager will inform Corporate Services when the complaint has been dealt with and closed.

Corporate Services records the date the complaint has been closed on the Complaints Database.

Downloads

Form to complain about a member of GSOC Staff.

File Type File Name File Size Last Updated

GSOC Complaints About GSOC

Printable form to make a complaint about GSOC.
31.98 KB 9 Jan 2017

Customer service

acf-seo-description-text

9 Jan 2017