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Public Services Ombudsman Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Part 6: Supplementary Provisions

Section 59: Interpretation

This section defines terms used elsewhere in the Act.

Section 60: Power to make further provision

This gives the Assembly Commission power to make further provision in order to give effect to this Act. The Act authorises the making of subordinate legislation in several instances.

Section 61: Orders

This section states what procedure is to be followed in making that subordinate legislation; in particular the degree of control the Assembly has over this process.

Sections 62 and 63: Consequential amendments

As a consequence of the changes made by this Act, there is a need for a large number of consequential changes to other pieces of legislation.  Sections 62 and 63 together with Schedules 7 and 8 make these changes.  These amendments are contained in two separate schedules to make it easier to administer and see the nature of the changes made.

Section 64: Commencement

This section sets out when the various provisions of the Act come into operation (i.e. the law comes into effect).  The structural provisions of the Act (things like the title of the Act, the power to make Orders etc.) and the provisions allowing for the establishment and appointment of the NIPSO come into operation on the day after the Act is made.  The bulk of the Act then comes into operation on 1 April 2016.  At this point, the NIPSO can exercise the main functions of receiving complaints, commencing investigations etc.  The NIPSO’s remit over further and higher education bodies only comes into operation on 1 October 2016.  Remit over grant-aided schools, only comes into operation on 1 April 2017.  Part 3 dealing with complaints handling procedure, other than section 34, will be commenced by order to be made by the Assembly Commission.  Finally, the power to investigate on his or her own initiative comes into operation on 1 April 2018.

Section 65: Repeals

As well as the consequential changes discussed above, there are repeals which are also consequent upon the making of this Act.  This section and Schedule 9 set out those repeals.  For example, the legislation regulating the existing offices of the Ombudsman and Commissioner is repealed.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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