National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012

15.

Assessment of specified information.

15.— (1) Where a matter is referred under section 14(3) to the Chief Bureau Officer for assessment and determination, he or she shall—

( a) notify in writing, or cause to be so notified, the person who is the subject of the application for vetting disclosure concerned of that fact,

( b) furnish that person with a summary in writing of the specified information relating to him or her, and

( c) inform that person that he or she may make a written submission in relation to the specified information concerned.

(2) A person to whom a notification under subsection (1) is sent, may make a submission in writing to the Chief Bureau Officer concerning the information not later than 14 days, or such longer period as the Chief Bureau Officer may for good and sufficient reason specify, from the date of the notification.

(3) The Chief Bureau Officer shall assess the application for vetting disclosure and the specified information relating to the person who is the subject of that application but he or she shall not make a determination that that information concerned should be disclosed unless—

( a) he or she reasonably believes that that information is of such a nature as to give rise to a bona fide concern that the person concerned may—

(i) harm any child or vulnerable person,

(ii) cause any child or vulnerable person to be harmed,

(iii) put any child or vulnerable person at risk of harm,

(iv) attempt to harm any child or vulnerable person, or

(v) incite another person to harm any child or vulnerable person,

and

( b) he or she is satisfied that its disclosure is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of children or vulnerable persons or both, as the case may be.

(4) In assessing, for the purposes of making a determination as to whether the specified information referred to in subsection (3) relating to a person should be disclosed, the Chief Bureau Officer shall have regard to—

( a) the information concerned,

( b) its relevance to the type of relevant work or activity to which the application for vetting disclosure concerned relates,

( c) the extent to which the proposed relevant work or activity is likely to necessitate contact with children or vulnerable persons or both, and the nature of that contact,

( d) the source and reliability of the information,

( e) any submissions made by or on behalf of the person under this section or pursuant to an investigation or other process referred to in subsection (1) or (2) of section 19 or otherwise,

( f) whether the rights of the person have been considered and taken account of in a manner that is consistent with fairness and natural justice, and

( g) any other matter which the Chief Bureau Officer considers relevant to the application for vetting disclosure concerned.

(5) The Chief Bureau Officer may, but shall not be obliged to, make a request for further information from the scheduled organisation or member of the Garda Síochána who furnished the specified information concerned to the Bureau and, where he or she does so, the scheduled organisation or member of the Garda Síochána, as the case may be, to whom the request is made shall comply with it within such reasonable period as the Chief Bureau Officer may specify in the request.

(6) Where the Chief Bureau Officer makes a determination under this section that specified information should be disclosed, he or she shall—

( a) notify, or cause to be notified, the person who is the subject of the application for vetting disclosure concerned in writing of the determination and of the reasons for it,

( b) provide, or cause to be provided, to the person a copy of the specified information proposed to be disclosed,

( c) notify, or cause to be notified, the person of the intention to disclose the specified information to a liaison person for the relevant organisation concerned after the expiry of 14 days from the notification, and

( d) inform, or cause to be informed, the person that he or she may appeal the determination to an appeals officer not later than 14 days, or such longer period as the appeals officer may for good and sufficient reason determine after the date of the notification under this section is sent to that person.

(7) The Bureau shall not make a vetting disclosure in respect of a person until—

( a) the first-mentioned period referred to in subsection (6)(d) has elapsed, or

( b) where a notice of appeal is lodged within that first-mentioned period, until the determination or withdrawal of the appeal,

whichever is the later.

(8) Notwithstanding the generality of paragraph (d) of subsection (6), a person may appeal a determination made under this section after the expiry of the first-mentioned period referred to in that subsection if allowed to do so by an appeals officer under section 18(2) but the bringing of such an appeal shall not operate to prevent the making of the disclosure concerned.