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The Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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[F1Dispute resolutionN.I.

[F227A.(1) Any person may make a complaint under this Article (hereinafter referred to as “a complaint”) if—

[F3(a)the subject matter of the complaint constitutes a dispute between the complainant and—

(i)the holder of a licence under Article 8(1)(a);

(ii)the holder of a licence under Article 8(1)(b);

(iii)the holder of a licence under Article 8(1)(d);

(iv)the holder of an exemption from Article 6(1)(a);

(v)the holder of an exemption from Article 6(1)(b); or

(vi)the holder of an exemption from Article 6(1)(d);]

(b)it is wholly or mainly a complaint against that holder regarding an obligation imposed on him pursuant to the Directive; and

(c)the subject matter of the complaint is not capable of being determined pursuant to any other Article of this Order or any condition of the licence held by the holder.]

(2) A complaint shall be made in writing to the Authority and shall be accompanied by such information as is necessary or expedient to allow the Authority to make a determination in relation to the complaint.

(3) The Authority shall establish and publish such procedures as it thinks appropriate for the determination by it of a complaint.

(4) The procedures established under paragraph (3) shall provide for the determination of the complaint to be notified to the complainant within the requisite period or such longer period as the Authority may agree with the complainant.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4) the requisite period in any case means—

(a)the period of two months from the date when the complaint was received by the Authority; or

(b)where the information sent to the Authority under paragraph (2) was in its opinion insufficient to enable it to make a determination, the period of four months from the date the complaint was received by the Authority.

(6) For the purposes of this Article “determination” in relation to any complaint about a licence holder means a determination pursuant to any power or duty which is conferred or imposed on the Authority in relation to gas under this Order or the Energy (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 and which is relevant to the subject matter of the complaint.

[F4(7) Where the Authority makes a determination in pursuance of this Article it may include in the determination an order requiring any party to the dispute to pay such sum in respect of the cost or expenses incurred by the Authority as it considers appropriate and this order shall be final and shall be enforceable as if it were a judgment of the county court.

(8) In making an order under paragraph (7) the Authority shall have regard to the conduct and means of the parties and other relevant circumstances.

(9) In this Article a reference to the holder of a particular exemption means a person who carries on an activity under the authority of that exemption.]]

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