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Commissioner for Older People Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

Section 4- General Powers of the Commissioner

This gives the Commissioner powers to do a number of things to help him/her fulfil the aim of protecting the interests of older people.  These powers (including the power in this Section to carry out informal investigations) enable the Commissioner to carry out a wide range of activities.  This means the Commissioner will be able to influence the actions of many organisations and individuals that affect older people’s lives in many different ways.

The general powers include:

  • Undertaking, commissioning or providing assistance for research or educational activities concerning the interests of older people;

  • Issuing guidance on best practice in relation to any matter concerning the interests of older people;

  • Conducting investigations in relation to any matter;

  • Compiling, providing and publishing information on matters concerning the interests of older people; and

  • Making representations or recommendations to any body or person about any matter concerning the interests of older people.

This Section at 4(6) specifically provides for the advocacy powers and role of the Commissioner. This Section also gives the Commissioner the power to carry out a formal investigation in relation to two of his/her duties which are listed in Section 3(2) and 3(3) of the Act.  The procedures to be followed when doing this are set out in an Annex to the Commissioner for Older People Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (known as Schedule 2).  There is further information on Schedule 2 towards the end of this document.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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