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Public Services Ombudsman Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Investigation procedureN.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

30—(1) It is for the Ombudsman—

(a)to decide whether to begin, continue or discontinue an investigation,

(b)to determine if the requirements of sections 5, 6 or 8 have been met.

(2) The Ombudsman may begin or continue an investigation into a complaint even if the complaint has been withdrawn.

(3) If the Ombudsman conducts an investigation into a complaint in respect of a listed authority, the Ombudsman must—

(a)give the listed authority an opportunity to comment on any allegations contained in the complaint,

(b)give any other person who is alleged in the complaint to have taken or authorised the action complained of an opportunity to comment on any allegations relating to that person.

(4) If the Ombudsman conducts an investigation into a listed authority under section 8, the Ombudsman must—

(a)give the listed authority an opportunity to comment on any evidence of systemic maladministration or systemic injustice, as the case may be,

(b)give any person who appears to have taken part in or authorised systemic maladministration or systemic injustice, as the case may be, an opportunity to comment on any evidence of that.

(5) An investigation must be conducted in private.

(6) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the procedure for conducting an investigation is to be such as the Ombudsman considers appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(7) In particular the Ombudsman may—

(a)make such inquiries as are appropriate, and

(b)determine whether any person may be represented in the investigation by counsel, solicitor or otherwise.

(8) The Ombudsman may pay to a person aggrieved and to any other person who attends or provides information for the purposes of an investigation—

(a)such sums as the Ombudsman may determine in respect of expenses properly incurred by them,

(b)such allowances as the Ombudsman may determine by way of compensation for the loss of their time.

(9) In exercising powers under subsection (8), the Ombudsman must have regard to the desirability of keeping the sums and allowances payable broadly in line with those payable in respect of persons attending, or providing information to, a tribunal constituted under any statutory provision or by virtue of Her Majesty's prerogative.

(10) The conduct of an investigation in respect of a listed authority does not affect—

(a)the validity of any action taken by the listed authority, or

(b)any power or duty of the listed authority to take further action with respect to any matter under investigation.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I1S. 30 wholly in operation at 1.4.2018; s. 30(1)-(3)(5)-(10) in operation at 1.4.2016 see s. 64(1); s. 30(4) in operation at 1.4.2018 see s. 64(5)(e)

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