Customer Charter


    Our customers

    Our customers come from many walks of life. They include individual members of the public, elected representatives, the agencies associated with the Department, other Government departments and offices, international organisations and many voluntary and representative groups who do business with the Department.


    Our aim

    We aim at all times to provide our customers with a professional, efficient and courteous service and to do our best to improve the standards of the service which we provide. The purpose of this Customer Charter is to set out the standard of service our customers can expect to receive from the Department.

    (Note: The publication of a Customer Charter is not intended to create new legal rights for customers.)


    Our commitment to our customers

    Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we aim to achieve this by:

    • giving our customers the best possible service and advice;
    • treating customers in a proper, fair, impartial and courteous manner;
    • aiming to ensure that rights to equal treatment set out by equality legislation are upheld in the delivery of our services;
    • aiming, where possible, to meet any special need our customers may have.

    Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we aim to achieve this by following the targets/objectives of the Quality Customer Service Guiding Principles as set out in our Customer Action Plan.

     

    Telephone enquiries

    We will be available to answer telephone calls during normal office hours (9:15 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 9:15 a.m.–5:15 p.m. on Friday). Our aim is to answer all calls quickly. We will identify ourselves and our area of work. We will be polite and helpful, and do our best to provide our customers with clear and correct information. If we cannot give an answer straight away, we will take the customer's details and call the customer back at a suitable time. We will only connect callers to voicemail when the person they wish to speak to is unavailable, and we will do our best to respond to voicemail messages within one working day.

    Main telephone number is 00353- 1 - 6028202/LoCall* 1890 221 227

    *Please note that the rates charged for the use of the 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers. It is recommended that you only ring these numbers using a landline as calls made using mobiles may be expensive.

    Reception and Integration Agency- 00353 - 1 - 4183200

    Telephone details relating to Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) can be found on their website, or by clicking on the following URL,  http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/WP08000090.

     

    Written communication

    We will acknowledge the majority of written communications within 5 working days of receiving them and provide a final reply within 20 working days. In cases where there is going to be a delay, we will explain this to our customers by an interim reply before the 20-day period is up. Our staff will provide our customers with full contact details and a reference number (where applicable). If the correspondence is for another Government department or body, we will pass it on directly to that department, and we will tell the customer what we have done with it.

    In the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, where the processing of large volumes of applications is involved, a balance has to be struck between the work involved in the processing of the applications on the one hand and answering queries in relation to when the applications will be processed on the other.  While every effort is made to facilitate customer queries, we believe that, when deciding on the allocation of resources, the balance should be in favour of processing applications.

     

    Personal callers

    We will be available to meet by appointment with our customers during normal office hours. We will greet visitors politely, be fair and helpful and deal with their enquiries as quickly as possible. We will provide suitable facilities for meetings and will make sure that our offices are clean and safe. We will also make sure that our offices are accessible for people with disabilities.


    Accessibility

    The Department's Access Officers are:

    - Main Department's Access Officer: Ms. Aisling Brennan   Email: foi@justice.ie Phone - 01 6028473
    - INIS Access Officer:-  inisaccessofficer@justice.ie


    Equal status policy

    We are fully committed to providing a service that all our customers can avail of and that treats all customers equally. We will do our best to make sure that the service we provide takes account of the needs that particular groups of customers may have, and we will consult with our customers to make sure that their accessibility needs are looked after. We will provide suitable staff training to support these commitments.


    Equality/Diversity

    We will increase the levels of knowledge in the Department about equality and diversity through training, information and communication. In our dealings with our customers, we will make sure that their rights to equal treatment set out by equality legislation are upheld.


    Seirbhís i nGaeilge

    Déanfaidh an Roinn gach iarracht chun freastal ar dhaoine ar mian leo a ngnó a dhéanamh trí mheán na Gaeilge.


    Service in Irish

    The Department will make every effort to accommodate persons who wish to conduct their business through the medium of Irish.


    Training

    We will invest in customer service training for staff, in particular for staff who are in contact with the general public.

     

    Feedback/making a complaint

    We are committed to consulting with our customers and to asking them how we are doing. Our customers can help us by:

    • providing comments, make a complaint or make a suggestion about the service we give;
    • filling out and returning any customer survey forms we may send to them.

    If customers want to make a suggestion on how we could improve our service, for complaints about the quality of customer service provided, or for general queries they can e-mail our Quality Customer Service Office. The address is customerservices@justice.ie.

    Customers can also write to:

    Quality Customer Service Officer
    Department of Justice and Equality
    94 St. Stephen's Green
    Dublin 2

    For complaints about the quality of customer service provided by INIS customers can email INIScustomercomplaints@justice.ie, or write to:

    INIS Quality Customer Service Officer,
    Department of Justice and Equality,
    13/14 Burgh Quay,
    Dublin 2.

    If a customer who makes a complaint is not satisfied with the response they receive, they can write to the *Office of the Ombudsman, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.  Telephone 00 353 1 6785222, e-mail  ombudsman@ombudsman.irlgov.ie.  Website www.ombudsman.ie 

    *Note:  The Ombudsman's Office does not have the power to investigate immigration and naturalisation matters.  However, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) do receive correspondence from that office on such cases and responds to such correspondence giving the factual position on the matter raised.

     

    So how are we doing?

    We will find this out by:

    • Feedback and suggestions received from our Customers;
    • Consulting our customers through surveys, indepth interviews, focus groups and comparing our performance against previous results;
    • Using internal management information systems e.g. correspondence tracking systems and our e-mail system;
    • Disability audits, compliance with National Health and Safety Standards, external evaluation of websites etc.

     

    Help us to help you

    We can help you best if you:

    • Provide any information you have which is relevant to your inquiry;
    • Provide any relevant documents and reference numbers you have;
    • Follow any checklists or guidelines which you have been given ;
    • Treat our Staff and Other customers with courtesy and respect.

     

    Contact points/phone numbers

    You can find a list of contact points and phone numbers on our Contact Us page.  Also see main Customer Action Plan (PDF - 304KB).