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4.—(1) The Department shall appoint a person to be known as the Director General of Gas for Northern Ireland (“the Director”) for the purpose of carrying out the functions assigned to him by this Order.
(2) An appointment of a person to hold office as the Director shall be for a term not exceeding 5 years; but previous appointment to that office shall not affect eligibility for re-appointment.
(3) The Director may at any time resign his office as the Director by reasonable notice addressed to the Department; and the Department may remove any person from that office on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.
(4) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Director shall hold and vacate office as such in accordance with the terms of his appointment.
(5) The provisions of Schedule 1 shall have effect with respect to the Director.
5.—(1) It shall be the duty of the Department and the Director to exercise their functions under this Part in accordance with the following provisions of this Article.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Department and the Director to exercise their functions under this Part in the manner which the Department or the Director considers is best calculated—
(a)to promote the development and maintenance of an efficient, economic and co-ordinated gas industry in Northern Ireland; and
(b)to secure that licence holders are able to finance the carrying on of the activities which they are authorised or required by their licences to carry on.
(3) Subject to paragraph (2), it shall be the duty of the Department and the Director to exercise their functions under this Part in the manner which the Department or the Director considers is best calculated—
(a)to protect the interests of consumers of gas supplied by persons authorised by licences to supply gas in respect of—
(i)the prices charged and the other terms of supply;
(ii)the continuity of supply; and
(iii)the quality of the gas supply services provided;
(b)to protect the interests of licence holders in respect of the prices at which, and the other terms on which, any services are provided by one licence holder to another;
(c)to promote the efficient use of gas supplied to consumers;
(d)to protect the public from dangers arising from the conveyance, storage, supply or use of gas; and
(e)to facilitate competition between persons whose activities consist of or include conveying, storing or supplying gas;
and to take into account, in exercising those functions, the effect on the environment (whether by way of pollution or otherwise) of activities connected with the conveyance, storage or supply of gas.
(4) In performing the duty under paragraph (3)(a)(iii), the Department or Director shall take into account, in particular, the interests of those who are chronically sick, disabled or of pensionable age.
(5) A person is of pensionable age for the purposes of paragraph (4) if—
(a)he has attained pensionable age (within the meaning given by the rules in paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to the [1995 NI 22.] Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995); or
(b)in the case of a man born before 6th April 1955, he is the same age as a woman who has attained pensionable age (within the meaning so given).
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