If the Director received a complaint that an organisation had failed/refused to recognise an appointed decision supporter, the Complaints Team would contact the organisation to discuss the matter and, if necessary, explain the provisions of the 2015 Act. Under the 2015 Act, the Director is required to provide information and guidance to organisations and bodies in the State in relation to their interaction with relevant persons and the various tiers of decision supporters. The Director may also identify and make recommendations for change of practices in organisations and bodies in which the practices may prevent a relevant person from exercising his or her capacity under the Act – section 95(i).
The DSS has authority to supervise and regulate the decision support arrangements. There are no sanction or penalties, however, that the Director can directly impose on any external organisation or professional person who fails to recognise a valid decision supporter. However, depending on the response of the organisation, it would be open to the DSS or the complainant to notify the appropriate regulatory body, as this may amount to a breach of the standards and codes that apply to the particular organisation. In the usual way, the regulatory body would be required to examine the complaint and take appropriate action. It is also worth noting the relevance of the DSS codes of practice in this context. As set out in section 103(14), where it appears to a court, tribunal or body conducting any proceedings that a DSS code /breach of a code is relevant, it shall take that into account in deciding the question before it”.