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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Chapter 5 – Inspection of CAFCASS functions
Section 143: Inspection of CAFCASS functions

595.This section makes it a duty for the Chief Inspector to inspect the performance of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, which is at present a function of HMICA). The Chief Inspector is required to produce a written report of any inspection and send copies to the Secretary of State and CAFCASS. The Chief Inspector must publish the report in such a manner as he considers appropriate.

Section 144: Power of entry

596.This section gives the Chief Inspector the power to enter any premises occupied by CAFCASS and any organisations or individuals contracted to carry out functions on behalf of CAFCASS. The Chief Inspector does not have the right to enter private dwellings. The power of entry may be exercised at reasonable times only.

Section 145: Power to inspect documents etc.

597.This section gives the Chief Inspector the power to inspect, take copies of or take away documents held by CAFCASS or relating to the performance of CAFCASS functions which he considers relevant for the purposes of the inspection.

598.Subsection (3)(b) ensures that documents kept by means of a computer are produced in a legible form in which they can be taken away (for example, by means of a printout).

599.Subsection (4) entitles the Chief Inspector to have access to, inspect or check the operation of any computers (or other apparatus) used to produce the documents which he has the power to inspect, and he may require a person with responsibility for a computer to assist him.

600.Where a computer is kept on domestic premises (for example by an officer of the Service, as defined in section 144(4)), subsections (5) to (7) give the Chief Inspector the power to take possession of the computer and retain it for as long as he considers necessary, but then require him to return it.

601.Subsection (8) provides that the powers under this section can be exercised at reasonable times only.

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