Know your rights: Public petitions // Achainíocha poiblí

Question

There is an important issue that I feel isn’t being considered by the Oireachtas but should be. I’ve heard that it is possible to make a petition directly to a parliamentary petitions committee. How does this work?

Answer (April 2017)

The Joint Committee on Public Petitions considers petitions from members of the public on matters in which the Houses of the Oireachtas have the power to act. Anyone except for members of the Oireachtas can submit a petition.

To make a petition, you fill out a form which is available on the Oireachtas website oireachtas.ie. The form can be submitted by post, by email or online and only one signature is required. The committee secretariat can assist you in completing the form and can also give advice on the type of petitions which can be accepted.

You should be able to show that you have already taken steps to resolve the issue, for example, through raising it with the Ombudsman or directly with the relevant government department.

The Joint Committee will not consider a complaint which has been the subject of a decision by an Ombudsman, a regulatory public body or a body set up for the purpose of redress.

If the petition is accepted, the Committee may respond to it in a number of ways. It may:

  • Refer the petition to another appropriate committee, Ombudsman, regulatory public body or redress body
  • Report to the Dáil and Seanad with recommendations
  • Request the petitioner to attend a meeting and address the committee

The parliamentary petitions system is a way that you can take your concerns directly to Parliament and seek to influence the parliamentary agenda. Further information on the Joint Committee on Public Petitions is available on oireachtas.ie.

Ceist

Tá saincheist thábhachtach ann a sílim nach bhfuiltear á breithniú ag an Oireachtas ach ar cheart di bheith. Chuala mé gur féidir achainí a dhéanamh go díreach le coiste achainíocha parlaiminteacha. Cén chaoi a n-oibríonn sé?

Freagra

Is é an Comhchoiste um Achainíocha Poiblí a bhreithníonn achainíocha ón bpobal i leith cúrsaí ina mbíonn an chumhacht ag Tithe an Oireachtais chun gníomhú. Is féidir le duine ar bith seachas comhaltaí den Oireachtas achainí a thaisceadh.

Comhlánóidh tú foirm chun achainí a dhéanamh, a bhíonn ar fáil ar láithreán gréasáin an Oireachtais oireachtas.ie. Is féidir an fhoirm a thaisceadh trí phost, trí ríomhphost nó ar líne, agus ní theastaíonn ach síniú amháin. Is féidir le rúnaíocht an choiste cúnamh leat chun an fhoirm a chomhlánú, agus is féidir leat comhairle a thabhairt freisin i leith an chineáil achainíocha ar féidir glacadh leo.

Ba cheart duit bheith in ann a thaispeáint gur ghlac tú céimeanna cheana féin chun an tsaincheist a fhuascailt, mar shampla, ach í a thabhairt aníos leis an Ombudsman nó go díreach leis an roinn rialtais ábhartha.

Ní bhreithneoidh an Comhchoiste gearán a tháinig faoi réir cinnidh leis an Ombudsman, comhlacht poiblí rialaitheach bunaithe chun críche an tsásaimh.

Má ghlactar leis an achainí, is féidir leis an gCoiste freagra a thabhairt dó ar roinnt bealaí. Féadfaidh sé:

  • An t-achainí a tharchur chuig coiste iomchuí éigin eile, an tOmbudsman, an comhlacht poiblí rialaitheach agus sásaimh.
  • Tuairisciú chuig an Dáil agus an Seanad le moltaí
  • Iarraidh ar an achainíoch chun freastal ar chruinniú agus aitheasc a thabhairt don choiste

Is bealach é córas na n-achainíocha parlaiminteachta ar féidir leat d’ábhair imní a thabhairt go díreach leis an bParlaimint agus tionchar ar an gclár parlaiminteach a lorg. Tá tuilleadh faisnéise i leith Chomhchoiste na nAchainíocha Poiblí ar fáil ar oireachtas.ie.