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Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004

Section 47: Investigations by the Parliamentary Commissioner

135.Section 47 and Schedule 7 amend the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967. The amendments extend the jurisdiction of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration so that he can investigate and report on:

  • complaints that a duty under the code of practice for victims issued under section 32 has been breached;

  • complaints that any person has failed to comply with a duty to victims under sections 35 to 44.

136.Complaints will have to be made to the Parliamentary Commissioner through a Member of Parliament, in the same way as complaints of maladministration within the Parliamentary Commissioner’s existing remit. The Parliamentary Commissioner will have the same powers to obtain evidence and examine witnesses as he has in relation to complaints of maladministration. The provisions as to secrecy of information will also apply in the same way as to complaints of maladministration.

137.Paragraph 2(4) of Schedule 7 provides that the matters excluded from the Parliamentary Commissioner’s remit are slightly different for complaints of breaches of the code or sections 35 to 44 than they are for complaints of maladminstration under the 1967 Act. Matters relating to criminal investigations and proceedings are excluded from the Parliamentary Commissioner’s remit in respect of complaints of maladministration under the 1967 Act but such an exclusion would make the exercise of his functions in relation to breaches of the code and sections 35 to 44 ineffective. Therefore, this exclusion does not apply in respect of complaints about such breaches.

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