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The Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Procedure in respect of investigations

12.—(1) In determining whether to initiate, continue or discontinue an investigation under this Order, the Commissioner shall, subject to the foregoing provisions, act in accordance with his own discretion.

(2) Where the Commissioner proposes to conduct an investigation pursuant to a complaint under this Order—

(a)he shall furnish to—

(i)the body concerned; and

(ii)any person who is alleged in the complaint to have taken or authorised the action complained of or who is otherwise involved in allegations made in the complaint,

information as to the allegations made in the complaint so far as they relate to that body or (as the case may be) to that person and the substance of any evidence which the Commissioner has reason to believe may be tendered in support of those allegations; and

(b)he shall afford to every such body or person an opportunity to comment on any allegations made in the complaint and to furnish oral or other evidence respecting them.

(3) Every investigation under this Order shall be conducted in private.

(4) Except as otherwise provided by this Order, the procedure for conducting an investigation shall be such as the Commissioner considers appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(5) The Commissioner may obtain information from such persons and in such manner, and make such enquiries, as he thinks fit.

(6) Subject to paragraphs (7) and (8), the Commissioner shall not be obliged to hold any hearing, and no person shall be entitled as of right to be heard by the Commissioner.

(7) If at any time during the course of an investigation it appears to the Commissioner that there may be grounds for making any report or recommendation that may adversely affect any body or person, the Commissioner shall give to that body or person, if it or he so desires—

(a)the opportunity of being examined by its or his own solicitor or counsel; and

(b)the opportunity of testing by cross-examination, by its or his own solicitor or counsel or otherwise, any evidence which may affect it or him.

(8) Where the opportunities mentioned in paragraph (7) are given to a person other than the person aggrieved, the like opportunities shall be given to the person aggrieved.

(9) The Commissioner may, if he thinks fit, pay to the person by whom the complaint was made and to any other person who attends or furnishes information for the purposes of an investigation under this Order—

(a)sums in respect of expenses properly incurred by them;

(b)allowances by way of compensation for the loss of their time,

in accordance with such scales and subject to such conditions as the Department may determine.

(10) An investigation under this Order shall not affect—

(a)any action taken by the body concerned or by any department or head of a department with respect to that body; or

(b)any power or duty of that body, department or head of a department to take further action with respect to any matters subject to the investigation.

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