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Water Industry Act 1991

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203 Power to acquire information for enforcement purposes.E+W

(1)Where it appears to the Secretary of State or the Director —

[F1(a)in the case of a company which holds an appointment as a relevant undertaker, that the company—

(i)may be contravening, or may have contravened, any condition of the appointment or any statutory or other requirement enforceable under section 18 above; or

(ii)may be causing or contributing to, or may have caused or contributed to, a contravention by a company holding a licence under Chapter 1A of Part 2 of this Act of any condition of the licence or any statutory or other requirement enforceable under section 18 above; or

(b)in the case of a company which holds a licence under that Chapter, that the company—

(i)may be contravening, or may have contravened, any condition of the licence or any statutory or other requirement enforceable under section 18 above; or

(ii)may be causing or contributing to, or may have caused or contributed to, a contravention by a company holding an appointment as a relevant undertaker of any condition of the appointment or any statutory or other requirement enforceable under section 18 above,]

he may, for any purpose connected with such of his powers under Chapter II of Part II of this Act as are exercisable in relation to that matter, serve a notice under subsection (2) below on any person.

(2)A notice under this subsection is a notice signed by the Secretary of State or the Director and—

(a)requiring the person on whom it is served to produce, at a time and place specified in the notice, to—

(i)the Secretary of State or the Director; or

(ii)any person appointed by the Secretary of State or the Director for the purpose,

any documents which are specified or described in the notice and are in that person’s custody or under his control; or

(b)requiring that person, if he is carrying on a business, to furnish, at the time and place and in the form and manner specified in the notice, the Secretary of State or the Director with such information as may be specified or described in the notice.

(3)No person shall be required under this section to produce any documents which he could not be compelled to produce in civil proceedings in the High Court or, in complying with any requirement for the furnishing of information, to give any information which he could not be compelled to give in evidence in any such proceedings.

(4)A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to do anything required of him by a notice under subsection (2) above shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(5)A person who intentionally alters, suppresses or destroys any document which he has been required by any notice under subsection (2) above to produce shall be guilty of an offence and liable—

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

(b)on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(6)If a person makes default in complying with a notice under subsection (2) above, the High Court may, on the application of the Secretary of State or the Director, make such order as the Court thinks fit for requiring the default to be made good; and any such order may provide that all the costs or expenses of and incidental to the application shall be borne by the person in default or by any officers of a company or other association who are responsible for its default.

(7)Nothing in this section shall be construed as restricting any power of the Secretary of State or the Director under section 202 above or the conditions of an appointment under Chapter I of Part II of this Act [F2or of a licence under Chapter 1A of that Part] to require a company holding such an appointment [F3or licence] to produce any document to him or to furnish him with any information.

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 203(1) substituted (1.12.2005) by Water Act 2003 (c. 37), ss. 101(1), 105(3), Sch. 8 para. 45(2); S.I. 2005/2714, art. 3(c), (with Sch. para. 8)

F2Words in s. 203(7) inserted (1.12.2005) by Water Act 2003 (c. 37), ss. 101(1), 105(3), Sch. 8 para. 45(3)(a); S.I. 2005/2714, art. 3(c), (with Sch. para. 8)

F3Words in s. 203(7) inserted (1.12.2005) by Water Act 2003 (c. 37), ss. 101(1), 105(3), Sch. 8 para. 45(3)(b); S.I. 2005/2714, art. 3(c), (with Sch. para. 8)

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