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Ombudsman received 92 complaints about the RSA in 2022

The Ombudsman, Ger Deering, said that 2022 saw the highest number of complaints ever received by his office.

There were 4,791 complaints about public service bodies, an increase of over 19 per cent on the 2021 figure.

The Ombudsman received 92 complaints about the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and 38 about the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Ger Deering, Ombudsman

Among the RSA issues complained about were difficulties applying for, or renewing, driving licences and arranging driving tests.

Mr Deering said the NTA issues were complaint handling and dealing with clamping appeals.

The Ombudsman’s annual report also summarises some of the complaints he upheld in 2022 including:

Car value drops after NCT accidentally adds 40,000 km to mileage reading
When Sarah went to sell her car she noticed that the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) had accidentally added over 40,000 km to the odometer reading on her NCT certificate. When she complained to the NCTS it said it could not change the reading as any errors needed to be brought to its attention at the time of the NCT.

The Ombudsman noted that there were a number of covid-related restrictions in place at the time of Sarah’s NCT, including encouraging car owners to leave the NCT centre as soon as possible after the test.

This meant that Sarah may not have seen notices indicating the NCT’s policy. After the Ombudsman intervened, the NCT apologised for the error and issued a revised NCT certificate with the correct reading.

Woman refused driving licence despite providing correct documentation
Joanne contacted the Ombudsman after the Road Safety Authority refused her application for a driving licence as it said she did not provide all the relevant documentation it required.

When the Ombudsman investigated the case he discovered that medical evidence submitted by Joanne was in a file type that was not readable by the RSA’s computer systems. However, the RSA had not made it clear to applicants which file types it does, or does not, accept.

The Ombudsman highlighted to the RSA the importance of clearly communicating to applicants. The RSA apologised to Joanne, gave her a refund of the cost of providing the medical report, and issued her driving licence.