'.—(1) There shall be an office of the Older Persons' Commissioner.
(2) Schedule (The Older Persons' Commissioner) shall have effect with respect to the Older Persons' Commissioner (referred to in this Act as "the Older Persons' Commissioner").'.—[Mr. Burstow.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 9—Review and monitoring of arrangements—'.—(1) The Older Persons' Commissioner may review, and monitor the operation of, arrangements falling within subsection (2), (3) or (4) for the purpose of ascertaining whether, and to what extent, the arrangements are effective in safeguarding and promoting the rights and welfare of older persons to whom this Part applies.(2) The arrangements falling within this subsection are the arrangements made by the providers of regulated services in England or Wales, or by the Secretary of State or the Assembly, for dealing with complaints or representations in respect of such services made by or on behalf of older people to whom this Part applies.(3) The arrangements falling within this subsection are arrangements made by the providers of regulated services in England or Wales, or by the Secretary of State or the Assembly, for ensuring that proper action is taken in response to any disclosure of information which may tend to show— 994
in the course of or in connection with the provision of such services.
- (a) that a criminal offence has been committed;
- (b) that a person has failed to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject;
- (c) that the health and safety of any person has been endangered; or
- (d) that information tending to show that any matter falling within one of the preceding paragraphs has been deliberately concealed,(4) The arrangements falling within this subsection are arrangements made (whether by providers of regulated services in England or Wales, by the Secretary of State or the Assembly or by any other person) for making persons availableߞ
- (a) to represent the views and wishes of older people to whom this Part applies; or
- (b) to provide such older people with advice and support of any prescribed kind.(5) Regulations may confer power on the Older Persons' Commissioner to require prescribed persons to provide any information which the Older Persons' Commissioner considers it necessary or expedient to have for the purposes of his functions under this section.'.New clause 10—Examination of cases—'.—(1) Regulations may make provision for the examination by the Older Persons' Commissioner of the cases of particular older people to whom this Part applies.(2) The regulations may include provision about—
- (a) the types of case which may be examined;
- (b) the circumstances in which an examination may be made;
- (c) the procedure for conducting an examination, including provision about the representation of parties;
- (d) the publication of reports following an examination.(3) The regulations may make provision for—
for the purpose of an examination or for the purposes of determining whether any recommendation made in a report following an examination has been complied with.
- (a) requiring persons to provide the Older Persons' Commissioner with information; or
- (b) requiring persons who hold or are accountable for information to provide the Older Persons' Commissioner with explanations or other assistance,(4) For the purposes mentioned in subsection (3), the Older Persons' Commissioner shall have the same powers as the High Court in respect of—
- (a) the attendance and examination of witnesses (including the administration of oaths and affirmations and the examination of witnesses abroad); and
- (b) the provision of information.(5) No person shall be compelled for the purposes mentioned in subsection (3) to give any evidence or provide any information which he could not be compelled to give or provide in civil proceedings before the High Court.(6) The regulations may make provision for the payment by the Older Persons' Commissioner of sums in respect of expenses or allowances to persons who attend or provide information for the purposes mentioned in subsection (3).'.995 New clause 11—Obstruction etc.—'.—(1) The Older Persons' Commissioner may certify an offence to the High Court where—
- (a) a person, without lawful excuse, obstructs him or any member of his staff in the exercise of any of his functions under regulations made by virtue of section (Review and monitoring of arrangements) (5) or (Examination of cases); or
- (b) a person is guilty of any act or omission in relation to an examination under regulations made by virtue of section (Examination of cases) which, if that examination were proceedings in the High Court, would constitute contempt of court.(2) Where an offence is so certified the High Court may inquire into the matter; and after hearing—New clause 12—Further functions—
the High Court may deal with the person charged with the offence in any manner in which it could deal with him if he had committed the same offence in relation to the High Court.'.
- (a) any witnesses who may be produced against or on behalf of the person charged with the offence; and
- (b) any statement that may be offered in defence,'.—(1) Regulations may confer power on the Older Persons' Commissioner to assist an older person to whom this Part applies—
and in this subsection "proceedings" includes a procedure of any kind and any prospective proceedings.
- (a) in making a complaint or representation to or in respect of a provider of regulated services in England or Wales; or
- (b) in any prescribed proceedings,(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), assistance includes—
and the regulations may provide for assistance to be given on conditions, including (in the case of financial assistance) conditions requiring repayment in circumstances specified in the regulations.
- (a) financial assistance; and
- (b) arranging for representation, or the giving of advice or assistance, by any person.(3) The Older Persons' Commissioner may, in connection with his functions under this Part, give advice and information to any person.(4) Regulations may, in connection with the Older Persons' Commissioner's functions under this Part, confer further functions on him.(5) The regulations may, in particular, include provision about the making of reports on any matter connected with any of his functions.(6) Apart from identifying any person investigated, a report by the Older Persons' Commissioner shall notߞ
unless, after taking account of the public interest (as well as the interests of any person who made a complaint and other persons), the Older Persons' Commissioner considers it necessary for the report to mention his name or include such particulars.
- (a) mention the name of any person, or
- (b) include any particulars which, in the opinion of the Older Persons' Commissioner, are likely to identify any person and can be omitted without impairing the effectiveness of the report,(7) For the purposes of the law of defamation, the publication of any matter by the Older Persons' Commissioner in a report is absolutely privileged.'.New clause 13—Restrictions—'.—(1) This Part does not authorise the Older Persons' Commissioner to enquire into or report on any matter so far as it is the subject of legal proceedings before, or has been determined by, a court or tribunal.996(2) This Part does not authorise the Commissioner to exercise any function which by virtue of an enactment is also exercisable by a prescribed person'.New clause 14—Interpretations—'.—(1) This Part applies to an older person to or in respect of whom regulated services in England or Wales are provided.(2) In this Part, "regulated services in England or Wales" means services of a description provided by or in Part II undertakings for the time being provided in respect of older people, so far as provided in England or Wales.(3) For the purposes of this Part, in the case of the services mentioned in subsection (2) the person who carries on the Part II undertaking is to be treated as the provider of the services.(4) For the purposes of this section, an establishment or agency, and an undertaking of any other description, is a Part II undertaking if the provider of the services in question is for the time being required to be registered under that Part.(5) Where the activities of an undertaking are carried on from two or more branches, each of those branches shall be treated as a separate undertaking for the purposes of this Part.(6) Regulations may provide—
- (a) for this Part to be treated as having applied to an older person at any time before the commencement of this Part if regulated services in England or Wales were at that time provided to or in respect of him;
- (b) for references in this Part to older people to whom this Part applies to include references to persons who, at any prescribed time, were such older people.(7) In this Part— "information" includes information recorded in any form;regulations" means regulations made by the Secretary of State or the Assembly.'.Amendment No. 10, in clause 117, page 78, line 27, at end insertߞ'( ) The provision which, by virtue of subsection (6), may be made by regulations under the Part of this Act which relates to the Older Persons' Commissioner includes provision amending or repealing any enactment or instrument.'.Amendment No. 11, in clause 120, page 81, line 31, at end insertߞ'Older Persons' Commissisoner Section (Older Persons' CommissionerNew schedule 2:—'The Older Persons' Commissioner—