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Explanatory Memorandum to Water and Sewerage Services (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

Main Elements of Articles 3 and 4 of the Order

10.Articles 3 and 4 of the Order provides the legal basis for the sharing of certain information between DRD and the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). In practice, in the case of DFP, it is that Department’s Rates Collection and Valuation and Lands Agencies which will be asked to provide information under the Order. The purpose of the information sharing is to facilitate the establishment of an accurate and effective customer billing and contact service for implementation in April 2007 and to identify those who may be entitled to assistance with charges. The Order restricts the circumstances in which information can be shared and provides sanctions to ensure information is handled appropriately.

11.The information sharing provisions contained in the Order are, effectively, temporary because information cannot be requested after April 2007. However, in the case of information necessary to identify those eligible for assistance, the Government has included provisions in the main water reform Order to allow continued information sharing. This will enable those eligible to receive assistance to continue to do so automatically without having to make applications.

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