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(1)Each adoption agency must give to the appropriate Minister any statistical or other general information he requires about—
(a)its performance of all or any of its functions relating to adoption,
(b)the children and other persons in relation to whom it has exercised those functions.
(2)The following persons—
(a)the justices’ chief executive for each magistrates’ court,
(b)the relevant officer of each county court,
(c)the relevant officer of the High Court,
must give to the appropriate Minister any statistical or other general information he requires about the proceedings under this Act of the court in question.
(3)In subsection (2), “relevant officer”, in relation to a county court or the High Court, means the officer of that court who is designated to act for the purposes of that subsection by a direction given by the Lord Chancellor.
(4)The information required to be given to the appropriate Minister under this section must be given at the times, and in the form, directed by him.
(5)The appropriate Minister may publish from time to time abstracts of the information given to him under this section.
(1)If the appropriate Minister is satisfied that any local authority have failed, without reasonable excuse, to comply with any of the duties imposed on them by virtue of this Act or of section 1 or 2(4) of the Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act 1999 (c. 18), he may make an order declaring that authority to be in default in respect of that duty.
(2)An order under subsection (1) must give the appropriate Minister’s reasons for making it.
(3)An order under subsection (1) may contain such directions as appear to the appropriate Minister to be necessary for the purpose of ensuring that, within the period specified in the order, the duty is complied with.
(4)Any such directions are enforceable, on the appropriate Minister’s application, by a mandatory order.
(1)The appropriate Minister may arrange for any premises in which—
(a)a child is living with a person with whom the child has been placed by an adoption agency, or
(b)a child in respect of whom a notice of intention to adopt has been given under section 44 is, or will be, living,
to be inspected from time to time.
(2)The appropriate Minister may require an adoption agency—
(a)to give him any information, or
(b)to allow him to inspect any records (in whatever form they are held),
relating to the discharge of any of its functions in relation to adoption which the appropriate Minister specifies.
(3)An inspection under this section must be conducted by a person authorised by the appropriate Minister.
(4)An officer of a local authority may only be so authorised with the consent of the authority.
(5)A person inspecting any premises under subsection (1) may—
(a)visit the child there,
(b)make any examination into the state of the premises and the treatment of the child there which he thinks fit.
(6)A person authorised to inspect any records under this section may at any reasonable time have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any computer (and associated apparatus) which is being or has been used in connection with the records in question.
(7)A person authorised to inspect any premises or records under this section may—
(a)enter the premises for that purpose at any reasonable time,
(b)require any person to give him any reasonable assistance he may require.
(8)A person exercising a power under this section must, if required to do so, produce a duly authenticated document showing his authority.
(9)Any person who intentionally obstructs another in the exercise of a power under this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
After section 36 of the Care Standards Act 2000 (c. 14) there is inserted—
(1)This section applies to functions relating to voluntary adoption agencies conferred on the registration authority by or under this Part or under Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
(2)Subject to the following provisions, functions to which this section applies are exercisable—
(a)where the principal office of an agency is in England, by the Commission,
(b)where the principal office of an agency is in Wales, by the Assembly.
(3)So far as those functions relate to the imposition, variation or removal of conditions of registration, they may only be exercised after consultation with the Assembly or (as the case may be) the Commission.
(a)where such a function as is mentioned in subsection (3) is exercisable by the Commission in relation to an agency which has a branch in Wales, it is exercisable only with the agreement of the Assembly,
(b)where such a function as is mentioned in subsection (3) is exercisable by the Assembly in relation to an agency which has a branch in England, it is exercisable only with the agreement of the Commission.
(5)The functions conferred on the registration authority by sections 31 and 32 of this Act in respect of any premises of a voluntary adoption agency are exercisable—
(a)where the premises are in England, by the Commission
(b)where the premises are in Wales, by the Assembly.
(6)In spite of subsections (2) to (5), regulations may provide for any function to which this section applies to be exercisable by the Commission instead of the Assembly, or by the Assembly instead of the Commission, or by one concurrently with the other, or by both jointly or by either with the agreement of or after consultation with the other.
(7)In this section, “regulations” means regulations relating to England and Wales.”
(1)The appropriate Minister may cause an inquiry to be held into any matter connected with the functions of an adoption agency.
(2)Before an inquiry is begun, the appropriate Minister may direct that it is to be held in private.
(3)Where no direction has been given, the person holding the inquiry may if he thinks fit hold it, or any part of it, in private.
(4)Subsections (2) to (5) of section 250 of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) (powers in relation to local inquiries) apply in relation to an inquiry under this section as they apply in relation to a local inquiry under that section.
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