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Annual Reports

Foreword

Appeals Office - Annual Report 2005

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To The Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mr Séamus Brennan TD.

De réir na forálacha de Alt 308(1) den Acht Leasa Shóisialaigh (Comhdhlúthú), 2005, cuirim isteach tuarascáil na hOifige Achomhairc Leasa Shóisialaigh do 2005.

In accordance with the provisions of Section 308(1) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, I submit the report of the Social Welfare Appeals Office for the year ended 31 December 2005.

Brian Flynn
Chief Appeals Officer

June 2006

Foreword

My aim in this annual report is to give an overview of how we in the Social Welfare Appeals Office discharged our responsibilities in 2005. It contains statistical data on the activities of the Office as well as commentary on other issues which arose during the year.

In line with recent reports it contains a selection of cases determined by Appeals Officers so as to give a sense of the type of questions that gave rise to an appeal and the consideration given to those questions by Appeals Officers.

However, going beyond the statistics, commentary and case studies, I am very much aware that the core of our business continues to be the quality of service we provide at the individual level to the many thousands of appellants who seek our assistance each year. For appellants who excercise their right to appeal, my challenge is to ensure that they are treated fairly, that they get an adequate opportunity to have their say, that their appeals are dealt with promptly and that they get the best possible decisions in the circumstances of each case. Those commitments are very much reflected in our mission statement which is "to provide an independent, accessible and fair appeals service for entitlement to social welfare payments and to deliver that service in a prompt and courteous manner".

I would like to take this opportunity, in refelecting on the year's work, to record my thanks to all the staff of the Office for their support to me in fulfilling my statutory duties and to the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the Health Service Executive for their co-operation with our work. I would also like to pay tribute to the work of my predecessor, Mr. Cyril Havelin, who retired from the public service during the year.

In line with statutory requirements, this report is being published in bi-lingual form.

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