18 Proceedings of Ombudsmen

(1)

Before investigating any matter under this Act, an Ombudsman shall inform the chief executive of the department affected, or, as the case may require, the chief executive of the organisation affected, of his intention to make the investigation.

(2)

Every investigation by an Ombudsman under this Act shall be conducted in private.

(3)

An Ombudsman may hear or obtain information from such persons as he thinks fit, and may make such inquiries as he thinks fit. It shall not be necessary for an Ombudsman to hold any hearing, and no person shall be entitled as of right to be heard by an Ombudsman:

provided that if at any time during the course of an investigation it appears to an Ombudsman that there may be sufficient grounds for his making any report or recommendation that may adversely affect any department or organisation or person, he shall give to that department or organisation or person an opportunity to be heard.

(4)

In the case of an investigation relating to a department or organisation named or specified in Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 1, an Ombudsman may in his discretion at any time during or after the investigation consult a Minister who is concerned in the matter of the investigation, and an Ombudsman shall consult any Minister who so requests or to whom a recommendation which is the subject of the investigation has been made, after the Ombudsman has made the investigation and before he has formed a final opinion on any of the matters referred to in subsection (1) or subsection (2) of section 22.

(5)

In the case of an investigation relating to an organisation named or specified in Part 3 of Schedule 1, an Ombudsman may in his discretion at any time during or after the investigation consult the mayor or chairperson of the organisation concerned, and an Ombudsman shall consult the mayor or chairperson of the organisation who so requests or to whom a recommendation which is the subject of the investigation has been made, after the Ombudsman has made the investigation and before he has formed a final opinion on any of the matters referred to in subsection (1) or subsection (2) of section 22.

(6)

If, during or after any investigation, an Ombudsman is of opinion that there is substantial evidence of any significant breach of duty or misconduct on the part of any officer or employee of any department or organisation, he shall refer the matter to the appropriate authority.

(7)

Subject to the provisions of this Act and of any rules made for the guidance of Ombudsmen by the House of Representatives and for the time being in force, an Ombudsman may regulate his procedure in such manner as he thinks fit.

Compare: 1962 No 10 s 15

Section 18(1): amended, on 1 July 2003, by section 262 of the Local Government Act 2002 (2002 No 84).

Section 18(1): amended, on 1 April 1988, pursuant to section 90(d) of the State Sector Act 1988 (1988 No 20).

Section 18(5): amended, on 1 July 2003, by section 262 of the Local Government Act 2002 (2002 No 84).

Section 18(6): amended, on 23 November 1982, by section 2 of the Ombudsmen Amendment Act 1982 (1982 No 89).