Powers of authorised officers

13.—(1) An authorised officer may at all reasonable hours and on producing, if required to do so, some duly authenticated document showing his authority, exercise the powers specified in this regulation for the purposes of—

(a)verifying the accuracy of any information or evidence contained in or included with an application or supplied pursuant to regulation 6 or 9;

(b)ascertaining whether and to what extent any expenditure in respect of which financial assistance is claimed should be approved;

(c)ascertaining whether and to what extent any undertakings given by a beneficiary under regulation 8 and any relevant conditions have been complied with;

(d)ascertaining whether and to what extent any amount of financial assistance is payable, or should be reduced, withheld or recovered under regulation 15 below;

(e)ascertaining whether an offence under regulation 17 has been or is being committed; or

(f)otherwise ascertaining, pursuant to Article 38 of Regulation 1260/1999, whether Community aid is being efficiently and correctly used, and such powers shall be exercisable for those purposes on a random, spot-check or sample basis as well as by reference to the particular circumstances or suspected circumstances of individual cases.

(2) An authorised officer may enter upon any premises, other than premises used only as a dwelling, which are, or which such officer has reasonable cause to believe are, relevant premises.

(3) Any authorised officer who has entered any premises in accordance with paragraph (2) above may inspect those premises, any equipment which is, or which such officer has reasonable cause to believe is, relevant equipment and any documents on those premises which are, or which such officer has reasonable cause to believe are, relevant documents.

(4) An authorised officer entering any premises by virtue of this regulation may take such other person as the authorised officer considers necessary and regulations 12 and 14 and paragraphs (2), (3) and (5) of this regulation shall apply in relation to such other persons when acting under the instructions of the authorised officer as if they were authorised officers.

(5) An authorised officer may—

(a)require a beneficiary or an employee, servant or agent of a beneficiary to produce any relevant documents and to supply such additional information in that person’s possession or under his control relating to an application or an approved operation as the officer may reasonably request;

(b)inspect any such documents and, if any such documents are kept by means of a computer, have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any computer and any associated apparatus or material which is or has been used in connection with those documents;

(c)require that copies of, or extracts from, any relevant documents be produced; or

(d)remove and retain for a reasonable period any such relevant document which he or she has reason to believe may be required as evidence in proceedings under these Regulations or which the National Assembly may be required to make available to the Commission pursuant to Article 38(6) of Regulation 1260/1999 and, if any such document is kept by means of a computer, require it to be produced in a form in which it may be taken away and in which it is visible and legible.

(6) In this regulation—