Over 180 additional public bodies were brought under the remit of the Ombudsman from 1 May 2013, under the Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 2012. The Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, investigates complaints from members of the public who feel they have been unfairly treated by public bodies.
Previously, the Ombudsman had the power to investigate complaints against Government Departments, the HSE (and public hospitals and health agencies providing services on behalf of the HSE), and local authorities.
Rather than supplying a definitive list of the public bodies which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman, the Act provides for a general description of the types of "reviewable agencies" that will come within its remit. However, the Ombudsman has compiled an indicative list of the public bodies which are subject to the jurisdiction of the ombudsman. The Ombudsman can examine complaints in relation to the administrative actions of these public bodies which occur on or after 1 May 2013 only.
Schedule 2 of the 2012 Act contains a list of prescribed bodies which are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. The exempt list includes, amongst other bodies, NAMA, the Central Bank and the Environmental Protection Agency.
In order to provide guidance and assistance to public bodes under her remit the Ombudsman has launched two Guides: Six Rules for Getting it Right - The Ombudsman Guide to Good Administration, and 'Listen, Respond, Learn, Improve'.