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Children's Ombudsman announces investigation
The Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, has today (Friday) announced that her Office is to carry out an investigation to establish if there has been any maladministration in relation to the handling of the Child Protection Audit of Catholic Church Dioceses by the Health Services Executive and/or the Department of Health.
The authority of the Ombudsman for Children is set out in the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002, including the powers for conducting investigations. The bodies under investigation are the Department of Health and Children and the HSE as both are within the remit of the Ombudsman for Children. The Ombudsman for Children has written to the HSE and the Department of Health requesting files relating to the Audit.
Aims of the investigation
- To establish if an action by the Department of Health and Children and/or the HSE in relation to the handling of the audit has or may have adversely affected a child. “Action” is defined in the Ombudsman for Children Act as a decision, failure to act or omission.
- To establish if there has been any maladministration on the part of the HSE and/or the Department of Health and Children in relation to the handling of the audit.
- To make any recommendations as may be deemed necessary at the conclusion of the investigation.
The investigation is being conducted under Section 10 (1)(a)(ii) of the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002, which provides that the Ombudsman for Children may conduct an investigation where an action may have adversely affected a child, where there may have been maladministration and where she considers that an investigation would be warranted.
In conducting investigations, the Ombudsman for Children is obliged by statute to have regard to the best interests of the child as per Section (6)(2) of the Ombudsman for Children Act.