Dormant Accounts Act, 2001

Power to inspect records.

23.—(1) An inspector may, for the purposes specified in section 22 , on production of his or her authorisation—

(a) at all reasonable times and on reasonable notice inspect and take copies of or extracts from (including, in the case of information in a non-legible form, a copy of or extract from that information in a permanent legible form), and make any enquiries that the inspector considers necessary in relation to the following records kept by an institution—

(i) accounts held by the institution,

(ii) records of the transfer of moneys to the Fund under section 12 ,

(iii) the register,

(iv) claims for repayment under section 19 ,

(v) any other records relating to the matters specified in subparagraphs (i) to (iv), and

(vi) any other records relating to dormant accounts,

and, for those purposes, enter any premises on which the inspector reasonably believes that those records are kept and search and inspect the premises,

(b) secure for later inspection any premises or any part of a premises on which those records are kept or there are reasonable grounds for believing that those records are kept,

(c) where records that are stored in electronic form or are not in the English or Irish language, require the institution concerned or a person employed by that institution to produce in a legible form a copy of those records in the English or Irish language,

(d) require a person by whom or on whose behalf a computer is or has been used to produce or store records or any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of, the computer to afford the inspector all reasonable assistance in relation thereto, and

(e) remove and retain those records for such period as may be reasonable for further inspection or until the conclusion of any legal proceedings, subject to a warrant being issued for that purpose by a judge of the District Court.

(2) A person who has in his or her power, possession or procurement any records referred to in subsection (1) shall—

(a) produce them at the request of the inspector and permit the inspector to inspect and take copies of or extracts from them,

(b) at the request of the inspector, give the inspector any information that the inspector may reasonably require in relation to any entries in those records and provide an explanation of any apparent omissions from them or any omission of a record required to be produced, and

(c) give any other assistance and other information to the inspector that is reasonable in the circumstances.

(3) The duty to produce or provide any record or information extends to an examiner, administrator, liquidator, receiver, official assignee or any person who is or has been an officer or employee or agent of an institution or who appears to the Minister or the inspector to have the information or record in his or her possession or under his or her control.

(4) Where a person from whom production of a record is required claims a lien thereon, the production of it shall be without prejudice to the lien.

(5) An inspector shall not, except with the consent of the occupier, enter a dwelling unless he or she has obtained a warrant issued by a judge of the District Court under subsection (7) authorising the entry.

(6) An inspector, where he or she considers it necessary, may be accompanied by a member of the Garda Síochána when performing any powers conferred on an inspector by this Part.

(7) If a judge of the District Court is satisfied on the sworn information of an inspector that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is information required by an inspector under this section held on any premises or any part of any premises, the judge may issue a warrant authorising an inspector, accompanied by other inspectors or by a member of the Garda Síochána, at any time or times within one month from the date of issue of the warrant, on production of the warrant if so requested, to enter the premises, if need be by reasonable force, and exercise all or any of the powers conferred on an inspector under this section.

(8) A person who—

(a) obstructs an inspector in the exercise of a power under this Chapter,

(b) gives to an inspector information that the person knows is false or misleading, or

(c) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a request or requirement made by an inspector under this Chapter,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(9) For the purposes of carrying out inspections under this Chapter the inspector shall have access to—

(a) all records kept by the Agency in relation to the transfer of moneys to, and the repayment of moneys from, the Fund, and

(b) the certificates of compliance furnished to the Minister under section 20 .