THE Ombudsman’s office received a record number of complaints in 2011, its latest annual report shows.
Last year was the busiest in the office’s 28 year history with a 38pc hike in complaints dealt with.
Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said she received over 4,200 complaints were dealt with out of 11,000 inquiries.
The Office of the Ombudsman has helped over 80,000 people with valid complaints since 1984.
A breakdown of complaints about public bodies showed that 31.5pc were about the Department of Social Protection.
“The ongoing effect of the economic downturn was felt yet again by my office in 2011 as record numbers of people sought our assistance," she said.
"I am very conscious that as my staff are required to do more with less, so too are the public bodies we are holding to account.
“Public bodies may have less money and fewer human resources, but basic standards cannot be sacrificed," she added.