Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004

Secrecy of information.

10

10.—(1) The Ombudsman or a member of the staff of the Ombudsman (including an investigation officer) shall not disclose any information, document, part of a document or thing obtained by the Ombudsman or an investigation officer in the course of, or for the purpose of, a preliminary examination or an investigation under this Act except for the purposes of—

( a) the preliminary examination or the investigation concerned,

( b) the making, in accordance with this Act, of any statement, report or notification on that preliminary examination or that investigation, or

( c) proceedings for an offence under the Official Secrets Act 1963 that is alleged to have been committed in respect of information or a document, part of a document or thing obtained by the Ombudsman or an investigation officer by virtue of this Act.

(2) The Ombudsman or a member of the staff of the Ombudsman (including an investigation officer) shall not be called upon to give evidence in any proceedings, other than proceedings referred to in subsection (1)(c), of matters coming to his or her knowledge in the course of a preliminary examination or an investigation under this Act.

(3) ( a) The Minister may give notice in writing to the Ombudsman, with respect to any document, part of a document, information or thing specified in the notice, or any class of document, part of a document, information or thing so specified, that, in the opinion of the Minister, the disclosure (other than to the Ombudsman or a member of his or her staff including an investigation officer) of that document, that part of a document, that information or that thing or of documents, parts of a document, information or things of that class, would, for the reasons stated in the notice, be prejudicial to the public interest or to security.

( b) Where a notice is given under this subsection, nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorising or requiring the Ombudsman to communicate to any person or for any purpose any document, part of a document, information or thing specified in the notice or any document, part of a document, information or thing of a class so specified.

(4) Where a notice is given under subsection (3)(a), the Ombudsman or a member of the staff of the Ombudsman (including an investigation officer) shall not disclose any—

( a) document, part of a document, information or thing specified in the notice, or

( b) class of document, part of a document, information or thing specified in the notice,

to any person or for any purpose and nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorising or requiring the Ombudsman or a member of the staff of the Ombudsman (including an investigation officer) to disclose to any person or for any purpose anything referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).