The Standards Commission is an independent statutory body. We share offices with the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Office of the Environmental Information Commissioner, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, and the Referendum Commission (when established). The Office of the Ombudsman provides the secretariat for the Standards Commission.

The offices are together referred to as “the Office” in this section of the website.

Access officer

If you have a difficulty accessing information on this site, please contact our access officer at accessofficer@sipo.ie.

Requirements of the organisation under the Disability Act 2005

As a public body, the organisation must comply with sections 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Disability Act 2005. It must ensure:

  • That public areas at its offices are accessible to people with disabilities, under section 25
  • That its mainstream services are, as far as possible, accessible to people with disabilities, under section 26. The organisation, if necessary, must assist people with disabilities to access its services, and it must have expert advice and skills available to make sure its services are accessible
  • It has an “access officer” who will organise help and guidance for people with disabilities to access its services, under section 26(2)
  • Any goods or services it acquires are accessible to people with disabilities, under section 27
  • That any information it provides is accessible to people with disabilities, under section 28.

The Office has policies and strategies in place to meet our requirements as a public body under the Disability Act 2005.

We also strive to ensure our website meets the following technical standards:

  • Accessibility – we aim for all pages to be WAI AA compliant
  • Code – our site is produced using W3C XHTML 1.0 for code clarity
  • Formatting – we use cascading style sheet (CSS) files, in line with W3C recommendations. You can disable this file and see a “plain text” version of the site, if you prefer
  • The website has also been designed to be compatible with most browsers. Older browsers, which are not CSS compatible, can access the site, although the graphics may not display.

Making complaints

A person may make a complaint to our personnel officer, under section 38 of the Act, if they believe we have failed to comply with sections 25, 26, 27 or 28 of the Act. The personnel officer will refer the matter to an inquiry officer.

If you are making a complaint about the accessibility of our services, and you need help to do so, contact our access officer for assistance.

Accessibility requirements as part of procurement procedures

Section 27 of the Disability Act 2005 says: “Where a service is provided to a public body, the head of the body shall ensure that the service is accessible to persons with disabilities”.

This applies to both providing services and supplying goods. It means that section 27 requires public bodies to ensure that any goods or services it acquires are accessible to people with disabilities, unless it is not feasible, too costly, or would cause an unreasonable delay. This section applies when tendering for equipment, materials, information technology, conference facilities, and so on.

Our objective is to achieve the highest standard of accessibility as possible for people with disabilities, within reason. Our policy is to ensure that relevant accessibility requirements for people with disabilities are included in all stages of the tender process. We have adopted the following procedures:

  • Staff preparing tenders should consult our access officer about accessibility requirements to be considered as part of the tender process. They may also need to check with external advisers, the National Disability Association and/or people with disabilities to identify any such requirements.
  • If it is decided that accessibility requirements are not relevant to the goods or services being bought or that they are not feasible or will cause undue cost or delay, this decision must be recorded.
  • If there are accessibility requirements, they must be clearly stated in the request for tenders.
  • Accessibility must be considered throughout the tendering process. Suppliers should be asked to show features of their product or service that are relevant to the accessibility requirements. If asked to make presentations, suppliers should include accessibility as part of their talk.
  • Accessibility requirements, if included, should also be considered during scoring and evaluation stages.

Other initiatives

1) Built Environment

Our office is located at 18 Lower Leeson Street. Works have been carried out at the building to provide for:

  • A ramp at the entrance to facilitate access by people with mobility issues
  • An automated front door with push-button access
  • A platform lift in the reception area
  • A wireless intercom at the railings on street level
  • Induction loops in the reception area and lower ground floor conference room; and a portable loop for use in interview rooms
  • Automated doors in the interior of the building
  • Elevator access to all floors
  • Disabled parking facilities.

2) Availability of Expertise

Under section 26(1)(c) of the Disability Act 2005, a public body must have expertise and skills available to advise it on making its services. The National Disability Authority’s “Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and Information provided by Public Bodies” says “such expertise can be made available within the organisation or, where appropriate, sourced externally”.

Disability awareness training has been provided to all members of staff. We have also compiled a database of contact details, costs and the notice needed for companies providing:

  • Translation of documents into Braille
  • Sign language services
  • Plain English documentation
  • Accessibility works.