The complaints refer to a selection process held for the post of Assistant Commissioner with the Police Corps.
The complainants had been interviewed by the selection board and were not successful. Complainants petitioned the Public Service Commission, which did not overturn the result of the board. Subsequently, they then complained with the Ombudsman, alleging that the procedures used by the board had been unfair because the board did not take cognisance of their experience, qualifications, and exemplary service during their long years of service in the Police Corps.
The Ombudsman investigated these complaints and found that the process was indeed vitiated. The documents pertaining to this selection were thoroughly reviewed. The Ombudsman found subjective bias in the process, and the whole procedure was weighted against the complainants. The crucial point here was not that the complainants had to be promoted but that they were never given a fair opportunity to compete with other promoted applicants.
The Ombudsman declared that the complaints were justified and recommended that the Commissioner of Police issue a fresh call of applications for the post or pay the sum of €15,000 in moral damages.