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Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008

Section 40: Fixed monetary penalties: procedure

115.Section 40 specifies certain minimum requirements that the order implementing fixed monetary penalties must include. In particular, before the regulator can impose a penalty it must first issue a ‘notice of intent’. The person subject to this notice will then have the opportunity to make written representations and objections against the penalty. Alternatively, the person could choose to discharge their liability for the penalty by paying a discharge payment, the level of which will be set out in the order and must be no more than the penalty. Any representations or discharge payment must be made within 28 days of receipt of the notice, or such shorter period as prescribed by the notice of intent. If a discharge payment is made, no further action will be taken against that person.

116.After this period, if the regulator chooses to impose the penalty, it must issue a ‘final notice’ setting out certain specified information such as the grounds for imposing the penalty and how payment may be made. Subsection (4) provides that a regulator must not impose the penalty if it is satisfied that a person would not be liable to conviction for the relevant offence because of a defence. It also provides the power for the Minister to set out further circumstances in which a regulator may not impose a penalty, for example, by creating new defences to the offence. Section 40 also sets out the right of appeal against the sanctioning decision and the minimum grounds for that.

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