Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004

Investigations on behalf of Commission.

15

15.—(1) The Commission may, in writing, authorise—

( a) one or more of the commissioners,

( b) one or more than one person who, in the opinion of the Commission, has the qualifications and experience necessary to exercise the functions conferred by this section, or

( c) any combination of persons to whom paragraphs (a) and (b) relate,

to investigate the exercise of functions under this Act by a licence holder or a recruitment agency on the list of recruitment agencies.

(2) The Commission shall provide each person authorised under subsection (1) with a warrant of appointment and such person shall when exercising a power under this section produce the warrant to any person affected, if requested to produce it by that person.

(3) A person authorised under subsection (1) may, at all reasonable times on production of the person's authorisation, enter premises at which the office holder or listed recruitment agency carries on business.

(4) A person authorised under subsection (1) who has entered premises in accordance with subsection (3) may exercise all or any of the following powers:

( a) inspect the premises;

( b) request any person on the premises who apparently has control of, or access to, records relating to the exercise of functions under this Act (including any record required to be held by virtue of any term, condition, direction or requirement of the Commission) to produce the records for inspection;

( c) inspect any records produced in accordance with the request, or found on the premises in the course of inspecting the premises;

( d) take copies of those records or of any part of them;

( e) request any person who the authorised person reasonably believes has information relating to those records, or to the business of the office holder or the listed recruitment agency (as the case may be), to answer questions with respect to the records or that business.

(5) A person to whom a request is made in accordance with subsection (4) shall—

( a) comply with the request so far as is possible to do so, and

( b) give such other assistance and information to the authorised person with respect to the business of the licence holder as is reasonable in the circumstances.

(6) The powers conferred by subsection (4) may also be exercised in relation to any other person who, in the opinion of the Commission, is in possession of information that is materially relevant to the exercise of functions under this Act by an office holder or a listed recruitment agency.

(7) The production of a record in compliance with a request made under this section does not prejudice any lien that a person may have over the record.

(8) Nothing in this section requires a legal practitioner to produce a record that contains a privileged communication made by or to the practitioner or to divulge any information that relates to the communication.

(9) ( a) Subject to paragraph (b), information obtained by an authorised person under subsection (1) by virtue of the performance by him or her of any functions under this section shall not be disclosed, by any person except in accordance with law.

( b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to the disclosure of information where such disclosure is duly made—

(i) in the course of, or for the purposes of, an investigation under this Act,

(ii) for the purposes of any report or notification under this Act, or

(iii) to any of the following:

(I) the Commission;

(II) the Minister;

(III) the Garda Síochána;

(IV) the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(10) A person commits an offence if such person—

( a) obstructs a person authorised under subsection (1) in the exercise of a power conferred by this section,

( b) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a request made under this section, or

( c) in purported compliance with such a request, gives information to a person authorised under subsection (1), that the person knows to be false or misleading.

(11) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding F11 [ 6 months ], or to both.