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The Social Security Administration (Fraud) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997

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The Social Security Administration (Fraud) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, Section 14 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 14 December 2017. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Penalty as alternative to prosecutionN.I.

14.  After section 109 of the Administration Act insert—

Penalty as alternative to prosecution.

109A.(1) This section applies where an overpayment is recoverable from a person by, or due from a person to, the Department or the Housing Executive under or by virtue of section 69, 69A or 73 above and it appears to the Department or the Executive that—

(a)the making of the overpayment was attributable to an act or omission on the part of that person; and

(b)there are grounds for instituting against him proceedings for an offence (under this Act or any other statutory provision) relating to the overpayment.

(2) The Department or the Housing Executive may give to the person a written notice—

(a)stating that he may be invited to agree to pay a penalty and that, if he does so in the manner specified by the Department or the Executive, no such proceedings will be instituted against him; and

(b)containing such information relating to the operation of this section as may be prescribed.

(3) The amount of the penalty shall be 30 per cent. of the amount of the overpayment (rounded down to the nearest whole penny).

(4) If the person agrees in the specified manner to pay the penalty—

(a)the amount of the penalty shall be recoverable by the same methods as those by which the overpayment is recoverable; and

(b)no proceedings will be instituted against him for an offence (under this Act or any other statutory provision) relating to the overpayment.

(5) The person may withdraw his agreement to pay the penalty by notifying the Department or the Housing Executive, in the manner specified by the Department or the Executive, at any time during the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which he agrees to pay it; and if he does so—

(a)so much of the penalty as has already been recovered shall be repaid; and

(b)subsection (4)(b) above shall not apply.

(6) Where, after the person has agreed to pay the penalty, it is decided on a review or appeal or in accordance with regulations that the overpayment is not recoverable or due, so much of the penalty as has already been recovered shall be repaid.

(7) Where, after the person has agreed to pay the penalty, the amount of the overpayment is revised on a review or appeal or in accordance with regulations—

(a)so much of the penalty as has already been recovered shall be repaid; and

(b)subsection (4)(b) above shall no longer apply by reason of the agreement;

but if a new agreement is made under this section in relation to the revised overpayment, the amount already recovered by way of penalty, to the extent that it does not exceed the amount of the new penalty, may be treated as recovered under the new agreement instead of being repaid.

(8) In this section “overpayment” means—

(a)a payment which should not have been made;

(b)a sum which the Department should have received;

(c)an amount of benefit paid in excess of entitlement; or

(d)an amount equal to an excess of benefit allowed;

and the reference in subsection (1)(a) above to the making of the overpayment is to the making of the payment, the failure to receive the sum, the payment of benefit in excess of entitlement or the allowing of an excess of benefit..

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