The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath T.D., has provided an update to his colleagues at Government this morning (Tuesday 21st September) regarding a process which is underway to appoint a new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner.

This follows the decision of the current Ombudsman, Mr. Peter Tyndall to step down from his roles as Ombudsman, Information Commissioner and Commissioner for Environmental Information.

The Minister has asked the Public Appointments Service (PAS) to undertake an open competition for this post. Further to consideration of a range of options, the Minister has determined that this is the most effective, transparent and appropriate course of action available.

The recruitment process is expected to conclude towards the end of October, at which point the Minister will consider the recommendations from PAS before making a subsequent recommendation to Government regarding a preferred candidate.

After Government approval regarding the preferred candidate, the Minister will, following communication with Opposition spokespersons, request the nominee to attend a Committee of the Oireachtas, prior to motions being put to the Oireachtas to approve the appointment.

Subsequent to motions passing in both Houses of the Oireachtas, the President will be asked to make a formal appointment in line with the Ombudsman Act 1980.

Mr Tyndall was first appointed by the President for a six year term in December 2013, and was reappointed for a subsequent term in December 2019.

He has helped to drive major reforms since his appointment, and played an important role in ensuring that services are delivered effectively and efficiently.

In 2016 he was elected President of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), which reflects the experience he has, and the esteem in which he is held in the international Ombudsman community.

Commenting on the development, the Minister stated:

“Peter Tyndall has established himself as a champion of good administration, not only in Ireland but also internationally.  As President of the International Ombudsman Institute, he has long since established himself as a global leader in vindicating the rights of citizens when dealing with the state.

“While Peter he will be remaining in his role for the next couple of months until a new candidate is identified, I would like to publicly thank him for his contributions to Irish public life since his appointment in 2013. 

“It is important that an open and transparent process is followed for the recruitment of his successor, and I look forward to bringing forward a recommendation to Government in this regard in the coming weeks.”