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The Bahamas Independence Order 1973

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Appeals in respect of certain decisions affecting pensions benefits

124.—(1) The provisions of this Article shall have effect for the purpose of enabling an officer or his personal representatives to appeal against any of the following decisions, that is to say:—

(a)a decision of the appropriate Service Commission embodying a recommendation in respect of an officer, under Article 123(2) of this Constitution, not to grant, or to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend, an award;

(b)a decision of any authority to remove an officer from office if the consequence of the removal is that an award cannot be granted in respect of the officer's service in a public office; or

(c)a decision of any authority to take some other disciplinary action in relation to such an officer if the consequence of the action is or in the opinion of the authority might be, to reduce the amount of any award that may be granted in respect of the officer's service in a public office.

(2) Where any such decision as is referred to in paragraph (1) of this Articles is taken by any Commission or authority, the Commission or authority shall cause to be delivered to the officer concerned, or to his personal representatives, a written notice of that decision stating the time, not being less than twenty-eight days from the date on which the notice is delivered, within which he, or his personal representatives, may apply to the Commission or authority for the case to be referred to the Public Service Board of Appeal.

(3) The Board shall inquire into the facts of the case, and for that purpose—

(a)shall, if the applicant so requests in writing, hear the applicant either in person or by a legal representative of his choice, according to the terms of the request, and shall consider any representations that he wishes to make in writing;

(b)may hear any other person who, in the opinion of the Board, is able to give the Board information on the case; and

(c)shall have access to, and shall consider, all documents that were available to the Commission or authority concerned and shall also consider any further document relating to the case that may be produced by or on behalf of the applicant or the Commission or authority.

(4) When the Board has completed its consideration of the case, then—

(a)if the decision that is the subject of reference to the Board is such a decision as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(a) of this Article, the Board shall advise the appropriate Service Commission or authority whether the decision should be affirmed, reversed or modified and the Commission or authority shall act in accordance with that advice; and

(b)if the decision that is the subject of the reference to the Board is such a decision as is referred to in sub-paragraph (1)(b) or (c) of this Article, the Board shall not have power to advise the Commission or authority concerned to affirm, reverse or modify the decision but—

(i)where the officer has been removed from office the Board may direct that there shall be granted all or any part of the award that, under any law, might have been granted in respect of his service in a public office if he had retired voluntarily at the date of his removal and may direct that any law with respect to awards shall in any other respect that the Board may specify have effect as if he had so retired; and

(ii)where some other disciplinary action has been taken in relation to the officer the Board may direct that, on the grant of any award under any law in respect of the officer's service in a public office, that award shall be increased by such amount or shall be calculated in such manner as the Board may specify in order to offset all or any part of the reduction in the amount of that award that, in the opinion of the Board, would or might otherwise be a consequence of the disciplinary action,

and any direction given by the Board under this sub-paragraph shall be complied with notwithstanding the provisions of any other law.

(5) If the appeal relates to a case in which the officer exercises his right of appeal to the Board under Article 115(1) of this Constitution, the Board shall first consider his appeal under that Article and only if it decides to affirm the decision or to make some other decision the consequence of which would be to affect the officer's award, shall the Board proceed to consider the officer's appeal under this Article.

(6) For the purposes of this Article—

(a)legal representative” means a person entitled to practice in The Bahamas as a Counsel and Attorney of the Supreme Court; and

(b)a notice shall be deemed to have been delivered to an officer one week after it has been posted if, in the case of an officer on pension and resident outside. The Bahamas whose residential address cannot be ascertained, it has been posted addressed to him at the address to which his pension is being paid.

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