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The Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

General restrictions on disclosure of information

44.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Article, no information with respect to any particular business which—

(a)has been obtained under any of the provisions of this Part; and

(b)relates to the affairs of any individual or to any particular business,

shall, during the lifetime of that individual or so long as that business continues to be carried on, be disclosed without the consent of that individual or the person for the time being carrying on that business.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any disclosure of information i f —

(a)the disclosure is required by a notice under paragraph (1) or (2) of Article 30;

(b)the information has been obtained in pursuance of a notice under paragraph (2) of that Article; or

(c)the disclosure is made by one licence holder to another and is required either by a condition of the disclosing licence holder’s licence, or by the other licence holder for purposes connected with the carrying on of activities which he is authorised by his licence to carry on.

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any disclosure of information which is made—

(a)for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by the Department, the Director or the Monopolies Commission of any functions under this Part;

(b)for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by—

(i)any Minister of the Crown;

(ii)any Northern Ireland department;

(iii)the Director General, of Fair Trading;

(iv)the Monopolies Commission;

(v)the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland;

(vi)the Director General of Telecommunications;

(vii)the Director General of Gas Supply; (viii) the Director General of Water Services;

(ix)the Director General of Electricity Supply;

(x)the Water Appeals Commission for Northern Ireland;

(xi)the Director General of Electricity Supply for Northern Ireland; or

(xii)the Civil Aviation Authority; of any functions under any of the statutory provisions specified in paragraph (4);

(c)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Secretary of State to exercise any powers conferred on him by the [1986 c. 60.] Financial Services Act 1986 or by the statutory provisions relating to insurance companies;

(d)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Department or the Department of Finance and Personnel to exercise any powers conferred on that Department by the statutory provisions relating to companies or insolvency or for the purpose of enabling or assisting any inspector appointed by the Department under the statutory provisions relating to companies to carry out his functions;

(e)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the official receiver for Northern Ireland to carry out his functions under the statutory provisions relating to insolvency or for the purpose of enabling or assisting a recognised professional body for the purposes of Article 350 of the [1989 NI 19.] Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 to carry out its functions as such;

(f)for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by the Health and Safety Agency of any of its functions under any statutory provision;

(g)for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by any district council of its functions under the [1987 c. 43.] Consumer Protection Act 1987;

(h)in connection with the investigation of any criminal offence or for the purposes of any criminal proceedings;

(i)for the purposes of any civil proceedings brought under this Part or any of the statutory provisions specified in paragraph (4); or

(j)in pursuance of a Community obligation.

(4) The statutory provisions referred to in paragraph (3) are—

(a)the [1968 c. 29.] Trade Descriptions Act 1968;

(b)the [1972 c. 5 (N.I.).] Water Act (Northern Ireland) 1972;

(c)the 1973 Act;

(d)the [1973 NI 2.] Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1973;

(e)the [1974 c. 39.] Consumer Credit Act 1974;

(f)the [1976 c. 34.] Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976;

(g)the [1976 c. 53.] Resale Prices Act 1976;

(h)the [1979 c. 38.] Estate Agents Act 1979;

(j)the 1980 Act;

(k)the [1984 c. 12.] Telecommunications Act 1984;

(l)the [1986 c. 31.] Airports Act 1986;

(m)the [1986 c. 44.] Gas Act 1986;

(n)the [1987 NI 5.] Audit (Northern Ireland) Order 1987;

(o)the Consumer Protection Act 1987;

(p)the [1987 NI 20.] Consumer Protection (Northern Ireland) Order 1987;

(q)the [1989 c. 29.] Electricity Act 1989;

(r)the [1991 c. 56.] Water Industry Act 1991;

(s)the [1992 NI 1.] Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992;

(t)Part IV of the [1994 NI 1.] Airports (Northern Ireland) Order 1994;

(u)the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988.

(5) The Department may by order provide that any of paragraphs SI 19881915. (2), (3) and (4) shall have effect subject to such modifications as are specified in the order.

(6) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed—

(a)as limiting the matters which may be published under Article 28 or may be included in, or made public as part of, a report of the Director, the Monopolies Commission or the General Consumer Council under any provision of this Part; or

(b)as applying to any information which has been so published or has been made public as part of such a report.

(7) Any person who discloses any information in contravention of this Article shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.

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