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The Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

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14.—(1) For the purposes of an investigation under this Order the Ombudsman may require—

(a)the head of any department concerned or an officer of any such department;

(b)any officer or member of any other authority concerned; or

(c)any other person who in his opinion is able to furnish such information or produce such documents,

to furnish information or produce documents relevant to the investigation.

(2) For the purposes of an investigation under this Order the Ombudsman shall have the same powers as the High Court in respect of—

(a)the attendance administration and examination of witnesses, including the of oaths or affirmations and the examination of witnesses abroad; and

(b)the production of documents.

(3) Any obligation to maintain secrecy or other restriction on the disclosure of information obtained by or furnished to persons in the service of the Crown, whether imposed by any statutory provision or by any rule of law, shall not apply to the disclosure of information for the purposes of an investigation under this Order.

(4) The Crown shall not be entitled in relation to any investigation under this Order to any such privilege in respect of the production of documents or the giving of evidence as is allowed by law in legal proceedings.

(5) A person shall not be required or authorised by virtue of this Order to furnish any information or answer any question relating to any proceedings of the Northern Ireland Executive or of a committee of that Executive or to produce so much of any document as relates to such proceedings.

(6) For the purpose of paragraph (5) a certificate issued by the secretary of the Northern Ireland Executive with the approval of the chief executive member and certifying that any information, question, document or part of a document relates to any proceedings mentioned in that paragraph shall be conclusive.

(7) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), a person shall not be compelled for the purposes of any investigation under this Order to give any evidence or produce any document which he could not be compelled to give or produce in civil proceedings in the High Court.

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