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The Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Procedure in respect of investigations

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

(2) Where the Ombudsman proposes to conduct an investigation pursuant to a complaint under this Order, he shall afford to—

(a)the principal officer of the department or authority concerned; and

(b)any other person who is alleged in the complaint to have taken or authorised the action complained of,

an opportunity to comment on any allegations contained in the complaint.

(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 Ombudsman considers appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(5) The Ombudsman may—

(a)obtain information from such persons and in such manner, and make such enquiries, as he thinks fit;

(b)determine whether any person may be represented, by counsel or solicitor or otherwise, in the investigation.

(6) The Ombudsman 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.

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

(a)any action taken by the department or authority concerned;

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

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