23Power to enter and remain on premisesE+W+S
After section 453 of the Companies Act 1985 (c. 6) insert—
“453APower to enter and remain on premises
(1)An inspector or investigator may act under subsection (2) in relation to a company if—
(a)he is authorised to do so by the Secretary of State, and
(b)he thinks that to do so will materially assist him in the exercise of his functions under this Part in relation to the company.
(2)An inspector or investigator may at all reasonable times—
(a)require entry to relevant premises, and
(b)remain there for such period as he thinks necessary for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1)(b).
(3)Relevant premises are premises which the inspector or investigator believes are used (wholly or partly) for the purposes of the company’s business.
(4)In exercising his powers under subsection (2), an inspector or investigator may be accompanied by such other persons as he thinks appropriate.
(5)A person who intentionally obstructs a person lawfully acting under subsection (2) or (4)—
(a)is guilty of an offence, and
(b)is liable on conviction to a fine.
(6)Sections 732 (restriction on prosecutions), 733 (liability of individuals for corporate default) and 734 (criminal proceedings against unincorporated bodies) apply to the offence under subsection (5).
(7)An inspector is a person appointed under section 431, 432 or 442.
(8)An investigator is a person authorised for the purposes of section 447.
453BPower to enter and remain on premises: procedural
(1)This section applies for the purposes of section 453A.
(2)The requirements of subsection (3) must be complied with at the time an inspector or investigator seeks to enter relevant premises under section 453A(2)(a).
(3)The requirements are—
(a)the inspector or investigator must produce evidence of his identity and evidence of his appointment or authorisation (as the case may be);
(b)any person accompanying the inspector or investigator must produce evidence of his identity.
(4)The inspector or investigator must, as soon as practicable after obtaining entry, give to an appropriate recipient a written statement containing such information as to—
(a)the powers of the investigator or inspector (as the case may be) under section 453A;
(b)the rights and obligations of the company, occupier and the persons present on the premises,
as may be prescribed by regulations.
(5)If during the time the inspector or investigator is on the premises there is no person present who appears to him to be an appropriate recipient for the purposes of subsection (8), the inspector or investigator must as soon as reasonably practicable send to the company—
(a)a notice of the fact and time that the visit took place, and
(b)the statement mentioned in subsection (4).
(6)As soon as reasonably practicable after exercising his powers under section 453A(2), the inspector or investigator must prepare a written record of the visit and—
(a)if requested to do so by the company he must give it a copy of the record;
(b)in a case where the company is not the sole occupier of the premises, if requested to do so by an occupier he must give the occupier a copy of the record.
(7)The written record must contain such information as may be prescribed by regulations.
(8)If the inspector or investigator thinks that the company is the sole occupier of the premises an appropriate recipient is a person who is present on the premises and who appears to the inspector or investigator to be—
(a)an officer of the company, or
(b)a person otherwise engaged in the business of the company if the inspector or investigator thinks that no officer of the company is present on the premises.
(9)If the inspector or investigator thinks that the company is not the occupier or sole occupier of the premises an appropriate recipient is—
(a)a person who is an appropriate recipient for the purposes of subsection (8), and (if different)
(b)a person who is present on the premises and who appears to the inspector or investigator to be an occupier of the premises or otherwise in charge of them.
(10)A statutory instrument containing regulations made under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.”