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The Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order (Northern Ireland) 2009

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5.—(1) In exceptional circumstances only, the person responsible may grant pre-release access to—

(a)an eligible person for a period in excess of 24 hours prior to the time set for the publication of an official statistic if in the opinion of the person responsible the public benefit likely to result from such access significantly outweighs the detriment to public trust in official statistics likely to result from such access;

(b)a person who is not an eligible person (either within the period of 24 hours prior to the time set for the publication of an official statistic or before this period) if an eligible person who has been granted pre-release access to an official statistic makes representations to the person responsible that pre-release access is needed for the purposes of paragraph 3(1)(a)(ii) in relation to that statistic.

(2) Where pre-release access is granted under sub-paragraph (1)(b), the person responsible must be satisfied that—

(a)the public benefit likely to result from such access (including the timing of such access) significantly outweighs the detriment to public trust in official statistics likely to result from such access; and

(b)the person to whom pre-release access is granted is the appropriate person to take the action referred to in paragraph 3(1)(a)(ii).

(3) A person who receives pre-release access under sub-paragraph (1)(b) is an eligible person only for the purposes of paragraphs 6, 7 and 8.

(4) Where pre-release access is granted under this paragraph the person responsible must—

(a)publish the reasons for granting such access; and

(b)inform the Statistics Board.

(5) For the purposes of this paragraph—

(a)paragraph 3(1)(b) does not apply to sub-paragraph (1)(b),

(b)paragraph 3(1)(c) does not apply.

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