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4 1958

PRICES ACT, 1958

PART IV.

Miscellaneous Provisions.

Authorised officers.

23. —(1) The Minister may appoint such and so many of his officers as he thinks fit to be authorised officers for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Every authorised officer shall be furnished with a warrant of his appointment as an authorised officer, and, when exercising any power conferred on an authorised officer by section 24 of this Act, shall, if requested by any person affected, produce the warrant to that person.

Powers of authorised officers.

24. —(1) An authorised officer may, for the purpose of obtaining any information which the Minister may require for enabling him to exercise his functions under this Act, do any one or more of the following things—

(a) at all reasonable times enter premises at which any activity in connection with the business of manufacturing or processing or packaging or supplying or distributing commodities or in connection with the organisation or assistance of persons engaged in any such business is carried on, and inspect the premises,

(b) require the person who carries on such activity and any person employed in connection therewith to produce to him any books, documents or records relating to such activity which are in that person's power or control and to give him such information as he may reasonably require in regard to any entries in such books, documents or records,

(c) inspect and copy or take extracts from such books, documents or records,

(d) require such person to give to him any information he may reasonably require in regard to the persons carrying on such activity (including, in particular, in the case of an unincorporated body of persons, information in regard to the membership thereof and of its committee of management or other controlling authority) or employed in connection therewith,

(e) require such person to give to him any other information which he may reasonably require in regard to such activity.

(2) If any person obstructs or impedes an authorised officer in the exercise of his powers under subsection (1) of this section or does not comply with a requirement of an authorised officer under the said subsection (1), that person shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

Prohibition on disclosure of information.

25. —(1) No person shall disclose information available to him by virtue of the powers of obtaining information conferred on him by this Act or through being present at a meeting of an Advisory Committee held in private.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to—

(a) a communication made by a member of an Advisory Committee or an authorised officer in the execution of his duties under this Act, or

(b) the disclosure of information in a report of an Advisory Committee or for the purpose of legal proceedings under this Act.

(3) If any person contravenes subsection (1) of this section he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

Penalties for offences.

26. —Every person who commits or is deemed to have committed an offence under any section of this Act shall on summary conviction thereof be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds (together with, in the case of a continuing offence, a fine not exceeding ten pounds for every day on which the offence is continued) or, at the discretion of the Court, imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both such fine and such imprisonment.

Offences in relation to bodies corporate and unincorporated bodies.

27. —Where an offence under any section of this Act is committed by a body corporate or by a person purporting to act on behalf of a body corporate or an unincorporated body of persons and is proved to have been so committed with the consent or approval of, or to have been facilitated by any neglect on the part of any person, being a director, member of the committee of management or other controlling authority thereof, or manager, secretary, or other officer thereof, that person shall also be deemed to have committed the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Prosecution of offences.

28. —(1) Proceedings in relation to an offence under any section of this Act may be brought and prosecuted by the Minister.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (4) of section 10 of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851, summary proceedings for an offence under any section of this Act may be instituted within twelve months from the date of the offence.