'

[Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff

Stephen N. Bonnlander SNBonnlander at justice.ie
Fri Feb 24 13:42:42 GMT 2006


That's legalese (my apologies!) for saying: "You can complain first to the 
public body where you found a fault in implementing the accessibility 
requirements of the Act (effectively Sections 25, 26, 27 and 28), and if 
you are not satisfied with their response, you can take your complaint to 
the Ombudsman and they will investigate."

I understand from my colleagues that implementation is ongoing.  That 
said, all of these provisions have only been in force since 31 December 
2005, a little more than six weeks, so for public bodies, including the 
Ombudsman herself, it is early days.


Stephen Bonnlander
Disability Equality Unit
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Bishop's Square
Dublin 2




"Mark Magennis" <mark.magennis at ncbi.ie> 
Sent by: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
24/02/2006 13:05
Please respond to
irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie


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Subject
RE: [Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff






This sounds positive Stephen, but could you clarify what you mean by "a
complaint lies to the Ombudsman for lack of implementation"? What hasn't
been implemented, who has complained and what is being done about it?

Thanks,
Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Stephen N.
Bonnlander
Sent: 24 February 2006 12:29
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
Subject: Re: [Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff



Hi all, 

thanks for the emails on the EU Directives - to clarify: Gerry and Mark
had communications with the Department of _Finance_ rather than the
Department of Justice, as they well might - it is for the Department of
Finance to set overall procurement policies for the public sector. 

However, in light of the fact that Section 27 of the Disability Act 2005
also deals with accessibility in procurement of goods and services, I
have forwarded those mails to colleagues who work on the implementation
of the Act.  Regarding Part 3 of the Disability Act, of which S. 27 is a
part, a complaint lies to the Ombudsman for lack of implementation. 

Hope this helps, 

Stephen Bonnlander
Disability Equality Unit
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Bishop's Square
Dublin 2



"Mark Magennis" <mark.magennis at ncbi.ie> 
Sent by: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 
24/02/2006 12:02 Please respond to
irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie

To<irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie> 
cc
Subject[Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff







Dear all,

In case anyone on the list is wondering what this Directive stuff is all
about (it's taken me a couple of years to reach even a limited level of
understanding) and why it's important, here's the situation in a
nutshell.

Up until now, in Ireland there has been little or no legislation that
enforces accessibility of ICT products and services, such as Web sites.
Even public policy has been very much on the level of lip-service. 

The situation is just about to change significantly. Gerry's post
highlighted the imminent signing into Irish law of two 'statutory
instruments' based on two recent EU public procurement Directives. An EU
Directive basically says to EU member states "you've all got to do this
now" and usually requires each state to pass or amend some law or other.
There are other levels of EU statements like Communications for example,
but a Directive is the biggie. It's an order.

These two statutory instruments will be signed into Irish law within the
next few weeks. After that, all public bodies will be legally bound to
follow certain procedures when procuring goods and services. These
procedures include taking accessibility for people with disabilities
into account. We hope (and hence Gerry's email to the Dept of Justice
and my follow-up email) that the instructions for taking accessibility
into account will be effective and unequivocal. However, we're talking
about legal language here, so it's difficult enough even to read the
things, let alone be sure what they can be said to mean in practice.

That's where my understanding ends (corrections or clarifications
welcome). Can someone explain to me, if a public body doesn't follow
this new law, what can we do about it? I know there was some hoo-ha
around the Disability Bill that perhaps it didn't actually allow anyone
to get sued for ignoring it. Is that situation any different with these
two statutory instruments?

If you want to keep up on the current situation, CFIT has a page about
Irish legislation and policy which we update whenever anything changes.
Go to www.cfit.ie/accessibility/accessibility_law_policy.html.

Mark



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