Clause 48 - Powers of inspectors
Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill
Mr Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight, Conservative)
I cannot speak for my hon. Friend the Member for North Down, but it seems to me that the amendment would be appropriate in circumstances such as those that we have heard about in the recent Victoria Climbie inquiry. In that case, the local authority might have done its best to produce documents, but was not able to do so until they happened to turn up in a filing cabinet.
The amendment is useful, because it entitles the inspector to ask ''any person''. The Minister will correct me if I am wrong, but I guess that the powers of the inspector in the rest of this part of the Bill relate to the authority rather than to any person within or outside it. If an individual had left the employment of the authority, the amendment would permit that person to be asked. The other provisions of this part of the Bill suggest that the power is in relation to the authority rather than to a person who might have left the authority.