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2—(1) The Department must prepare a strategy on autism to be known as the autism strategy and must publish the autism strategy not less than two years after the passing of this Act.
(2) Before preparing the autism strategy, the Department must consult the Northern Ireland departments on it.
(3) The Department must request every HSC trust to provide data on the prevalence of autism in its area in order—
(a)that it can publish and update the strategy; and
(b)that the Northern Ireland departments can effectively implement the strategy.
(4) The HSC trusts must provide the Department with all information it requests under subsection (3).
(5) The Department must keep the autism strategy under review and must publish a revised strategy at intervals of not more than seven years.
(6) The Department must monitor the implementation of the autism strategy by the Northern Ireland departments.
(7) The Northern Ireland departments must co-operate with the Department in relation to the preparation, review and implementation of the autism strategy.
(8) The Northern Ireland departments must implement that part of the autism strategy which falls within their responsibilities and the Department must implement that part of the autism strategy which falls within its responsibilities.
(9) Not more than three years after the publication of the autism strategy, and at intervals of no more than three years thereafter, the Department must prepare a report on implementation of the autism strategy by the Northern Ireland departments and the Department.
(10) The Minister shall lay a report prepared by the Department under subsection (9) before the Assembly as soon as possible after its preparation.
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