An Bord Pleanála

Customer Service Action Plan 2004 – 2009

Contents

Foreword by the Chairperson

Section 1 – Introduction

Section 2 – Establishment and Role of An Bord Pleanála

Section 3 – Mission Statement and Objectives

Section 4 – Principles of Quality Customer Service

Section 5 – Delivery of Quality Customer Service

(1) Quality Service Standards

(2) Equality/Diversity

(3) Physical Access

(4) Information

(5) Timeliness and Courtesy

(6) Complaints

(7) Appeals

(8) Consultation and Evaluation

(9) Choice

(10) Official Languages Equality

(11) Better Co-ordination

(12) Internal Customer

Section 6 – Location Map

Section 7 – Main Information Contacts

Foreword by the Chairperson

Planning seeks to direct physical development for the common good. In a broad sense, therefore, everyone is a customer of the planning system and by extension of the Board. The Board’s decisions affect the quality of life generally and the environment of the population at large and we must be conscious of this in carrying out our functions.

However, the focus of this Customer Service Action Plan is on those who do business with us directly – making appeals and referrals, submitting observations, corresponding in writing or orally, seeking information, etc. The quality and timeliness of our decisions are the main measures of customer satisfaction. The professionalism and competence of our decision making and the impartiality and openness of our procedures are critical aspects of quality. We provide full information on performance in relation to our statutory timeliness objective. We recognise that in today’s world higher standards of propriety and more rapid access to information are demanded more than ever before.

Providing the kind of service expected by our customers is a major challenge to everyone in an organisation. The Board is actively promoting greater awareness of customer needs among members and staff. Appropriate supports and training are necessary to deliver an excellent standard of customer service.

Tá sé mar aidhm ag an mBord fáilte a chur roimh dhaoine ar mian leo a ngnó a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge agus cuidiú leo.

The Board also sees our staff and consultants as customers and recognise that their needs must be addressed if we as an organisation are to deliver a constant service of high quality to our external customers.

All our customers will be encouraged to help us monitor and improve, our service and to provide us with suggestions for improvements and constructive criticism.

Section 1 – INTRODUCTION

The principles of Quality Customer Services were revised by the Government for the Civil Service Departments and Public Services Offices in July 2000. The twelve principles involved are set out in full in Section 4 of this Customer Service Action Plan and the Board’s specific actions designed to deliver the principles involved are set out Section 5 of the Plan.

In setting out its actions under Section 5, the Board also had regard to its Mission Statement and Objectives, which are set out Section 3 of the Plan, where these are relevant to quality customer services.

Our customers are those who make appeals, referrals, submissions and observations to the Board; local and planning authorities; prescribed bodies under the Planning Acts and other bodies who play a role in the proper planning and sustainable development of our cities, towns and rural areas; the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government; other Government Departments; other members of the public who seek information on casework and other matters; and our members and staff.

Our approach in this Action Plan is to provide the highest quality of service to all our customers. Over the period of the Plan, we will revise, update and improve on the quality of service offered.

Section 2 – Establishment and Role of An Bord Pleanála

An Bord Pleanála (the Board) was established in 1977 under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1976 as an independent corporate body which carries out its functions in a quasi-judicial manner. The Planning and Development Act, 2000, which repealed the Local Government (Planning and Development Acts, 1963 to 1999, provided for the continuation of the Board on the same basis.

The Board’s main function is to determine planning appeals arising from decisions of local planning authorities on applications for planning permission to develop land. In addition, it determines other appeals, referrals, local authority infrastructural projects, local authority compulsory acquisition of land and certain other matters under the Planning and Development Acts, 2000 to 2006. The Board also determines appeals under the Building Control Act, 1990; the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts, 1977 to 1990; and the Air Pollution Act, 1987.

A full list of the Board’s functions is available from the Board and its website www.pleanala.ie

Section 3 – Mission Statement and Objectives

Mission Statement:

To play our part as an independent body in ensuring that physical development and major infrastructure projects in Ireland respect the principles of sustainable development and are planned in an efficient, fair and open manner.

Objectives:

To achieve its mission the Board has set itself nine objectives:

  1. To fulfill its statutory duty to decide appeals and other matters expeditiously and, in particular, to meet the statutory objective of determining appeals, referrals, compulsory purchase orders, infrastructure projects and other matters within 18 weeks (strategic target 90%).
  2. To decide all matters before it in accordance with:
    1. the principles of natural and constitutional justice,
    2. the principles of sustainable development, and
    3. the proper planning and sustainable development of the area concerned.
  3. To deliver a high quality, effective and efficient service through skilled and motivated staff.
  4. To carry out its work in an independent manner that embodies the public service ethos of integrity, impartiality and a desire to serve the public interest while giving due consideration to all legitimate viewpoints and interests.
  5. To ensure:
    1. effective provision and development of the Board's human resources, organisation, accommodation and central support services (with particular emphasis on information technology and staff training),
    2. proper management and control of its financial resources, and
    3. an effective public information/communications service.
  6. To have regard to relevant Government and Ministerial policies and be aware of the concerns of stakeholders.
  7. To show the maximum degree of accountability consistent with the quasi-judicial nature of the Board's functions.
  8. To ensure that decisions are based on clearly stated considerations and reasons.
  9. To promote an awareness amongst its staff of the necessity and benefits of environmentally friendly practices and to encourage the use of such practices in the day to day workings of the Board.

Section 4 – PRINCIPLES OF QUALITY CUSTOMER SERVICE

FOR CUSTOMERS AND CLIENTS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE

In their dealings with the public, Civil Service Departments and Public Service offices will:

1. QUALITY SERVICE STANDARDS

Publish a statement that outlines the nature and quality of service which customers can expect, and display it prominently at the point of service delivery.

2. EQUALITY/DIVERSITY

Ensure the rights to equal treatment established by equality legislation, and accommodate diversity, so as to contribute to equality for the groups covered by the equality legislation (under the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller Community).

Identify and work to eliminate barriers to access to services for people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, and for those facing geographic barriers to services.

3. PHYSICAL ACCESS

Provide clean, accessible public offices that ensure privacy, comply with occupational and safety standards and, as part of this, facilitate access for people with disabilities and others with specific needs.

4. INFORMATION

Take a proactive approach in providing information that is clear, timely and accurate, is available at all points of contact, and meets the requirements of people with specific needs. Ensure that the potential offered by Information Technology is fully availed of and that the information available on public service websites follows the guidelines on web publication.

Continue the drive for simplification of rules, regulations, forms, information leaflets and procedures.

5. TIMELINESS AND COURTESY

Deliver quality services with courtesy, sensitivity and the minimum delay, fostering a climate of mutual respect between provider and customer.

Give contact names in all communications to ensure ease of ongoing transactions.

6. COMPLAINTS

Maintain a well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of dealing with complaints about the quality of service provided.

7. APPEALS

Similarly, maintain a formalised, well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of appeal/review for customers who are dissatisfied with decisions in relation to services.

8. CONSULTATION AND EVALUATION

Provide a structured approach to meaningful consultation with, and participation by, the customer in relation to the development, delivery and review of services. Ensure meaningful evaluation of service delivery.

9. CHOICE

Provide choice, where feasible, in service delivery including payment methods, location of contact points, opening hours and delivery times. Use available and emerging technologies to ensure maximum access and choice, and quality of delivery.

10. OFFICIAL LANGUAGES EQUALITY

Provide quality services through Irish and/or bilingually and inform customers of their right to choose to be dealt with through one or the other of the official languages.

11. BETTER CO-ORDINATION

Foster a more co-ordinated and integrated approach to delivery of public services.

12. INTERNAL CUSTOMER

Ensure staff are recognised as internal customers and that they are properly supported and consulted with regard to service delivery issues.

Section 5 – Delivery of Customer Services

(1) QUALITY CUSTOMER STANDARDS

Principle

Publish a statement that outlines the nature and quality of service which customers can expect, and display it prominently at the point of service delivery.

Delivery

As stated by the Chairperson in the Foreword, the quality and timeliness of our decisions are the main measures of customer satisfaction. The quality of the Board’s decisions is maintained and enhanced by the following measures:

  • Employing/engaging only professionally qualified planners, engineers and other experts with adequate experience to provide reports, recommendations and other advice to the Board on individual cases.
  • Ensuring that members and staff receive continuing professional development and other training in relation to developments in planning, sustainability of the environment, legislation, administration, human resources, information technology, corporate services and other matters relevant to the efficient and effective operation of the organisation.
  • Ensuring that decisions on major developments and other cases where planning or other precedents or principles are involved are taken at full Board meetings or at meetings where the number of members present is greater then the statutory quorum of three members.
  • By ensuring that, where appropriate, previous decisions made by the Board and/or the local authorities concerned are available to the Board when making decisions on particular cases.
  • Providing full reasons and considerations for decisions on cases in plain language.
  • In addition, the Board is examining further measures which will assist in monitoring and assessing the quality and consistency of its decisions on appeals and other matters

Timeliness of the Board decisions is the other main measure of customer satisfaction. The Planning and Development Act, 2000 requires the Board, as a matter of duty, to decide appeals, referrals and decisions on compulsory purchase orders and road developments as expeditiously as possible. In particular, it sets down a statutory objective on the Board to determine such cases within a period of eighteen weeks. The Board has set a strategic objective to determine 90% of all cases which come before it within eighteen weeks.

Measures taken by the Board to ensure that it meets its strategic objective are:

  • Having in place sufficient human resources to meet its current and anticipated workload at any time.
  • Reviewing organisation and management structures.
  • Regular monitoring of individual cases and trends in general to try to ensure that cases are dealt with at each stage in the process in a timely manner having regard to the 18 week statutory objective.

Over the lifetime of this Plan, in addition to the measures mentioned above, we will:

  • Have on display at Reception, on our website and throughout our offices a statement that outlines the type of service being provided to customers.
  • Make a copy of this Action Plan available at the Board’s Reception and on our website.
  • Give a copy of this Action Plan to each employee and brief them on its contents.
  • Give a copy of this Action Plan to each major external stakeholder.
  • Monitor our performance through public comment cards at Reception and our website.
  • Examine the feasibility of obtaining the Quality Control Standard mark.

(2) EQUALITY/DIVERSITY

Principle

Ensure the rights to equal treatment established by equality legislation, and accommodate diversity, so as to contribute to equality for the groups covered by the equality legislation (under the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller Community).

Identify and work to eliminate barriers to access to services for people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, and for those facing geographic barriers to services.

Delivery

The Board is committed to treating all customers equally while at the same time respecting individual differences and needs. Diversity and difference on the basis of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, religious belief and membership of the Traveller Community will be taken into account where appropriate.

The objective of the Board is to understand the needs, experiences, situation and identity of the diversity of our customers. We understand that training is important to equip our staff with the necessary skills to avoid discrimination, to promote equality outcome and to accommodate the diversity among our customers.

OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN WE WILL:

  • Conduct research to identify groups who cannot, or find it difficult to access our services.
  • Liaise with groups identified by the research with a view to eliminating barriers to access to our services.
  • Create a working environment and culture that is attentive, responsible, competent and responsive to equality/diversity.
  • Review, in consultation with equality organisations, all targets identified in this plan to ensure that they promote equality and accommodate diversity.
  • Report progress in the Annual Report.

(3) PHYSICAL ACCESS

Principle

Provide clean, accessible public offices that ensure privacy, comply with occupational and safety standards and, as part of this, facilitate access for people with disabilities and others with specific needs.

Delivery

The Board is committed to providing appropriate physical access to its offices and to ensuring that all office areas comply with occupational and safety standards.

The Board, in its design brief for its new offices, ensured that the offices, including all public areas, would be fully accessible to disabled persons, both staff and the visiting public. Features include easy access to file inspection, the internet and induction loop amplifiers in large meeting rooms.

OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN WE WILL:

  • Review public access areas annually, in the interest of accommodating people with disabilities and other specific needs.
  • Review and consult about physical access barriers with our customers (internal and external).
  • Ensure that staff with disabilities are involved in the audit process.
  • Make provisions for structural changes identified in the audit process.
  • Explore more effective use of the Board’s website.

(4) INFORMATION

Principle

Take a proactive approach in providing information that is clear, timely and accurate, is available at all points of contact, and meets the requirements of people with specific needs. Ensure that the potential offered by Information Technology is fully availed of and that the information available on public service websites follows the guidelines on web publication.

Continue the drive for simplification of rules, regulations, forms, information leaflets and procedures.

Delivery

The Board is committed to providing a ‘clear and transparent’ planning appeals system. It is the Board’s aim to give clear and accurate information to our customers at all times. In addition to this the Board is subject to section 146(3) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 to 2006, the Freedom of Information Acts (1997 and 2003), and the European Communities Act, 1972 (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, 1998.

PUBLIC ACCESS – Section 146(3) Planning and Development Act 2000

The Board’s Public Access system was setup to enable members of the public, our customers, to view their, or any, appeal file – in its entirety. It is possible to view any file once it has been decided, beginning on the third working day following the day on which the case is decided.

Generally files decided in the last two years are available on demand; however there may be some limited occasions where it will not be available. Due to space limitations files over two years are stored off-site and may have to be ordered in. It is advisable to ring our Public Access Section before you visit our offices so that we can arrange to have the file ready for you.

Copies of any document on the files may be purchased for the reasonable cost of reproducing them.

The Board Decision, Direction and Inspector’s Report are generally available for downloading or printing from our website, which is updated weekly with newly decided cases.

Decided files can be viewed and/or copied on days the Board is normally open between the hours of 10am – 12.30pm and 2.30pm – 4.30pm.

A detailed leaflet on Public Access is available in our reception area, on our website or by post.

Telephone: (01) 858 8100 ext. 203 or, (01) 8737203 or,

Lo-Call 1890 275 175 ext. 203 Fax: (01) 872 2684

Email: publicaccess@pleanala.ie Web: www.pleanala.ie

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACTS

Under the Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 and 2003, public bodies are obliged to release records held by it, subject to some exemptions. One such exemption is access to appeal files, as these are already made publicly available (see Public Access).

The Freedom of Information Acts provides that each person has a right to (but not limited to):

  • Access records held by the Board (section 6).
  • Access records held by the Board containing personal information (section 7).
  • Correction of personal information relating to oneself held by the Board where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading (section 17).

A person may make a Freedom of Information request in writing and enclosing the appropriate fee. Requests under section 7 (personal information) do not attract a fee.

The letter should be addressed to:

The Freedom of Information Officer,

An Bord Pleanála,

64 Marlborough Street,

Dublin 1.

A detailed leaflet on Freedom of Information requests is available in reception, on our website and by post.

Telephone: (01) 858 8100 ext. 295 or, (01) 8737295 or,

Lo-Call 1890 175 275 ext. 295 Fax: (01) 872 2684

Email: foi@pleanala.ie Web: www.pleanala.ie

Access to Information on the Environment

Information relating to the environment, subject to certain exemptions, held by the Board is available under the European Communities Act, 1972 (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, 1998. Requests should be made to the Secretary. Information on the Environment held by the Board is available under the Public Access provisions referred to earlier.

Over the lifetime of the Plan, we will:

  • Continue to provide up-to-date information leaflets on the services we provide including leaflets on:
    • Making an Appeal to the Board.
    • Fees payable to the Board.
    • Public Access procedures.
    • Procedures at oral hearings.
    • Role of Public Representatives in the Appeals Process.
    • Summary of cases which may be sent to the Board for Determination.
  • Publish our key performance indicators on a quarterly basis at Reception and on our Website.
  • Examine the feasibility of making available on our website a copy of our decisions on appeal and other cases on the day following the day the decision order is signed.

(5) TIMELINESS AND COURTESY

Principle

Deliver quality services with courtesy, sensitivity and the minimum delay, fostering a climate of mutual respect between provider and customer.

Give contact names in all communications to ensure ease of ongoing transactions.

Delivery

In recent consultation with our customers, it was found that the level of courtesy offered by our staff members was ‘Very Satisfactory’. The Board is very proud of this fact, and endeavour to continue to provide this high level of service.

As stated in Section 5(5) - Quality Customer Services, timeliness is one of the main measures of customer satisfaction and our principle objectives in that regard are outlined in that Section.

The Planning Acts set down a statutory objective of 18 weeks to decide certain cases under those Acts. A statutory objective period of 4 months applies to appeals under the Building Control Act and the Water Pollution Acts. No statutory objective period applies to appeals under the Air Pollution Act or to certain other cases under the Planning Acts.

OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN WE WILL:

  • Determine all casework as expeditiously as possible.
  • Endeavor to meet on an ongoing basis our strategic objective of determining 90% of all cases within 18 weeks of receipt.
  • Where it is not possible to determine a case within 18 weeks (4 months for appeals under the Building Control Act and the Water Pollution Act), to notify the parties and others as early as possible of that fact, the reason why and the date we expect to determine the case.
  • Where the case cannot be determined within 18 weeks for some unforeseen reason, we will notify the parties and others as early as possible of that fact, the reason why and the date we expect to determine the case. We will also ensure that such cases are monitored and accorded a priority so as to ensure that they are determined as soon as it is reasonably and legally possible.

ON THE TELEPHONE WE WILL:

  • Give you our name and the Section we work in when answering your call.
  • Make arrangements to ensure that there is sufficient cover in each section to answer your calls at all times during normal working hours.
  • Try to answer all telephone calls within 4 rings.
  • Offer to ring you back if your query cannot be answered immediately.
  • Keep transferring calls to a minimum, and ring you back if necessary.
  • Give you the name of the person and his/her extension number who you are being transferred to.
  • Be helpful and courteous at all times.
  • Provide clear and easily understood information, and clarification if necessary.

CORRESPONDENCE:

  • Acknowledge all correspondence within 7 working days.
  • Endeavour that all post-decision correspondence receives a substantive response within four weeks. If this is not possible, an interim reply will issue in that time.
  • Provide our name and telephone number on all correspondence.

RECEPTION AREA:

  • Ensure that Receptionists will wear a name badge.
  • After initial contact with the receptionist, leave no one unattended for more than 5 minutes before the next contact with a member of staff.
  • Staff members attending to you will give you their name.
  • Continue to provide a user friendly reception area giving information on all appeals and other cases on hand whether through use of our ICT system, record folders or verbally from our staff.
  • Assess and review our reception area on an ongoing basis.

ORAL HEARINGS:

  • Ensure that the Inspector conducting the oral hearing will display a name plate at all oral hearings.
  • If a staff member assists the Inspector ensure that he/she will wear a name badge.
  • Extend courtesy to all at oral hearings and expect all to do likewise.

(6) COMPLAINTS

Principle

Maintain a well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of dealing with complaints about the quality of service provided.

Delivery

An Bord Pleanála is committed to dealing with complaints about the quality of the serviceprovided. However, a distinction must be drawn between the service provided and the actual appeal decision made. Customers have a right to complain if they consider that they have not received an appropriate level of service.

While it is our aim to deliver a high quality service, we recognise that mistakes and delays may occasionally occur. We accept that from time to time some customers may be dissatisfied and may wish to make a complaint about the quality of service which they have received.

OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN WE WILL:

  • Provide comment card (complaint form) in Reception to facilitate any comments or complaints.
  • Provide training to staff on handling customer complaints and provide guidelines, where necessary, to assist staff in dealing with verbal or written complaints.
  • Review the Customer Complaints Procedure in light of experience gained in dealing with complaints.
  • Develop and introduce a computerised system to record and monitor complaints/criticism received by the Board.
  • Ensure that feedback from the operation of the Customer Complaints Procedure is incorporated in the review of our services.
  • Analyse and measure the number of complaints received during the first year of this Customer Service Action Plan. This information will be used to benchmark and set indicators for the remaining years of the Plan.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

  • Where a person making a complaint in person or on the telephone is not satisfied with how the complaint is being dealt with, the staff member concerned will report the matter to his/her supervisor and the supervisor will speak to the complainant at that time, if that is possible, or will phone the complainant as soon as possible.
  • Where a complaint is not resolved using the above procedure the complaint should be made in writing or by email to the Secretary. The contact details can be found at the back of this booklet.
  • All complaints will be dealt with fairly and impartially.
  • In general, the Board will endeavour to reply to any complaint within one month of the date of receipt of the complaint. Where it is not possible to meet this target the person(s) involved will be informed.
  • The making of a complaint will have no implication for dealings or contacts with the Board.

HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT

Any individual, company, organisation or association making a complaint is asked to include the following information:

  • Your name and address.
  • A clear statement of the facts as they are perceived by you that gave rise to the complaint, and if appropriate, the person(s) with whom you were dealing.
  • Attach all relevant documentation or correspondence that you may have in relation to the complaint.

(7) APPEALS

Principle

Maintain a formalised, well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of appeal/review for customers who are dissatisfied with decisions in relation to services.

Delivery

The Board is very conscious of its quasi-judicial role and independence in deciding cases put before it. Given the nature of the Board’s role in the planning system, there are no rights of appeal on cases (appeals, referrals and local authority projects) decided by it.

Under the 2000 Planning Act, such decisions can only be challenged by way of an application for leave to apply for judicial review to the High Court. Such applications for leave may not be granted unless the High Court is satisfied that there are substantial grounds for contending that the decision is invalid or ought to be quashed and meets certain other requirements.

In relation to appeals regarding services provided by the Board (other than appeals against decisions on casework), persons may appeal to the Chief Officer where the person is dissatisfied by the decision of the Secretary on the matter.

Different procedures apply to requests and reviews under the Freedom of Information Acts.

(8) CONSULTATION AND EVALUATION

Principle

Provide a structured approach to meaningful consultation with, and participation by, the customer in relation to the development, delivery and review of services. Ensure meaningful evaluation of service delivery.

Delivery

Extensive consultation mechanisms currently in place will be further developed over the period of this plan.

OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN, EACH SECTION WILL:

  • Identify its customers, both internal and external.
  • Ensure meaningful cross-departmental consultation through user groups.
  • Identify areas where more, or better, consultation is needed.
  • Recognise that the internal customer has a right to expect a high quality service from all other areas of the Board, but particularly from the support units within the Board.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK - WE WILL:

  • Welcome suggestions, compliments and complaints which will be recorded and statistics published in our Annual Report.
  • Promote the use of comment cards, making them freely available in the reception area.
  • Provide a contact form on our website.

(9) CHOICE

Principle

Provide choice, where feasible, in service delivery including payment methods, location of contact points, opening hours and delivery times. Use available and emerging technologies to ensure maximum access and choice, and quality of delivery.

Delivery

The Board’s offices are located in Dublin city centre. The opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.15 am to 5.30 pm, including lunch time. For the lodging of appeals in person our customers have a choice of payment either by cash, cheque or credit card.

OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN WE WILL:

  • Investigate the feasibility of accepting appeals and other matters (including fees) electronically.
  • Move to providing a choice to our customers of communicating with the Board electronically or by traditional methods e.g. normal mail.
  • Move to a web-based appeals and information system.

(10) OFFICIAL LANGUAGES EQUALITY

Principle

Provide quality services through Irish and/or bilingually and inform customers of their right to choose to be dealt with through one or the other of the official languages.

Delivery

The Board recognises our customer’s rights to a high quality service through Irish and is committed to providing this service.

In accordance with the Planning and Development Act, 2000, where an oral hearing relates to a development in the Gaeltacht, the hearing will normally be conducted through the Irish language. In such cases, it is the Board’s practice to appoint an Inspector who is competent in the use of Irish. Parties and observers to an appeal may address or make submissions through the medium of Irish or English at the hearing. The question of providing translation facilities at a hearing would be considered by the Board where such a request is made or where the particular circumstances of the case may justify the provision of translation facilities. It is the policy of the Board to facilitate Irish and non-Irish speakers in any event.

OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN WE WILL:

  • Continue to provide quality Irish language training to staff.
  • Respond to written queries in Irish through Irish.
  • Make every effort to facilitate members of the public who wish to carry out their business in Irish.
  • Make available an English/Irish phrase leaflet of common planning terminology.
  • Make all our information leaflets available in Irish.
  • Ensure that all stationary and signage are in English/Irish.
  • Ensure that all advertisements in Gaeltacht areas are published in an Irish language newspaper.
  • Produce our Annual Report in bi-lingual form.
  • Ensure that an adequate number of staff are competent in the Irish language.

(11) Better Co-ordination

Principle

Foster a more co-ordinated and integrated approach to delivery of public services.

Delivery

  • The procedures for the processing of appeals and other cases are clearly defined in legislation. Generally, this involves a one-shot appeal procedure. No co-ordination procedures are required as regards parties making appeals and /or “observers” making submissions or observations to the Board.
  • The local/planning authority is involved in all cases which come to the Board for determination and the Board meets with officials from these authorities from time to time with a view to ensuring effective co-ordination of information exchange between the authorities and the Board to ensure that there are no avoidable delays in requesting and receiving information.
  • In certain cases, the Board is required to consult with the Environmental Protection Agency where a licence or a revised licence has been granted or will be required for an activity under the Environmental Act, 1992 or the Waste Management Act, 1996, as amended, in respect of the development on appeal to the Board. The Board has met with the Environmental Protection Agency in relation to co-ordinating procedures on such matters and the Board has draft procedures in place pending formal agreement with the Agency on appropriate procedures.
  • Where a proposed development relates to the provisions of, or modifications to, an establishment to which the Major Accidents Directive applies, the Board is required to consult with the Health and Safety Authority. The Board and the Authority are setting up a joint working group to draft agreed protocols for the efficient and effective operation of procedures where information is required from the Authority.

(12) INTERNAL CUSTOMER

Principle

Ensure staff are recognised as internal customers and that they are properly supported and consulted with regard to service delivery issues.

Delivery

The Board is committed to ensuring that staff are also recognised as customers. It appreciates that delivering a quality service to the public is only achievable in the context of extending a high level of service and courtesy to our own staff.

Training has an important role in recognising and supporting the needs of staff and in equipping them to provide better service to the public.

OVER THE LIFE OF THE PLAN WE WILL:

  • Consult with internal customers and draw up appropriate standards which we can expect from each other as internal customers.
  • Ensure through training strategies that staff, and in particular new and inexperienced staff, are given the best possible training and development opportunities.
  • Examine and implement new ways of organising work in order to strike a balance between our work and family lives.
  • Ensure that all processes and services involving the internal customer will ensure equal treatment to all.

Section 6 – LOCATION MAP

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An Bord Pleanála’s offices are located in Dublin City Centre at the northern end of Marlborough Street beside its junction with Cathal Brugha Street. We are within 150 metres of the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street Upper.

Section 7 – MAIN INFORMATION CONTACTS

An Bord Pleanála,

64 Marlborough Street,

Dublin 1.

Telephone: (01) 858 8100

Lo-Call: 1890 275 175

Fax: (01) 872 2684

Direct Dial: (01) 8737 + Three Digit Extension Number

Web: www.pleanala.ie Email: bord@pleanala.ie

Appeals and other matters should be addressed to:

The Secretary,

An Bord Pleanála,

64 Marlborough Street,

Dublin 1.

Public Access:

Public Access Section,

An Bord Pleanála,

64 Marlborough Street,

Dublin 1.

Telephone: (01) 858 8100 extension 203, or

Lo-Call: 1890 275 175 extension 203, or

Direct Dial: (01) 873 7203

Web: www.pleanala.ie Email: publicaccess@pleanala.ie

Freedom of Information:

Freedom of Information Officer,

An Bord Pleanála,

64 Marlborough Street,

Dublin 1.

Telephone: (01) 858 8100 extension 285, or

Lo-Call: 1890 275 175 extension 285, or

Direct Dial: (01) 873 7285

Web: www.pleanala.ie Email: foi@pleanala.ie

Last modified: 12/12/2007