Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART I, CHILD SUPPORT - continued

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Information
Information required by Secretary of State.     12. In section 14 of the 1991 Act (information required by the Secretary of State), in subsection (1), after "such an application" there shall be inserted "(or application treated as made), or needed for the making of any decision or in connection with the imposition of any condition or requirement under this Act,".
 
Information- offences.     13. After section 14 of the 1991 Act there shall be inserted-
 
 
"Information - offences.     14A. - (1) This section applies to-
 
    (a) persons who are required to comply with regulations under section 4(4) or 7(5); and
 
    (b) persons specified in regulations under section 14(1)(a).
      (2) Such a person is guilty of an offence if, pursuant to a request for information under or by virtue of those regulations-
 
 
    (a) he makes a statement or representation which he knows to be false; or
 
    (b) he provides, or knowingly causes or knowingly allows to be provided, a document or other information which he knows to be false in a material particular.
      (3) Such a person is guilty of an offence if, following such a request, he fails to comply with it.
 
      (4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (3) to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply.
 
      (5) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale."
 
Inspectors.     14. - (1) Section 15 of the 1991 Act (powers of inspectors) shall be amended as follows.
 
      (2) For subsections (1) to (4) there shall be substituted-
 
 
    "(1) The Secretary of State may appoint, on such terms as he thinks fit, persons to act as inspectors under this section.
 
      (2) The function of inspectors is to acquire information which the Secretary of State needs for any of the purposes of this Act.
 
      (3) Every inspector is to be given a certificate of his appointment.
 
      (4) An inspector has power, at any reasonable time and either alone or accompanied by such other persons as he thinks fit, to enter any premises which-
 
 
    (a) are liable to inspection under this section; and
 
    (b) are premises to which it is reasonable for him to require entry in order that he may exercise his functions under this section,
       and may there make such examination and inquiry as he considers appropriate.
 
      (4A) Premises liable to inspection under this section are those which are not used wholly as a dwelling house and which the inspector has reasonable grounds for suspecting are-
 
 
    (a) premises at which a non-resident parent is or has been employed;
 
    (b) premises at which a non-resident parent carries out, or has carried out, a trade, profession, vocation or business;
 
    (c) premises at which there is information held by a person ("A") whom the inspector has reasonable grounds for suspecting has information about a non-resident parent acquired in the course of A's own trade, profession, vocation or business."
      (3) In subsection (6), for the words from "any person who" to the end of paragraph (d) there shall be substituted "any such person".
 
      (4) After subsection (10) there shall be inserted-
 
 
    "(11) In this section, "premises" includes-
 
 
    (a) moveable structures and vehicles, vessels, aircraft and hovercraft;
 
    (b) installations that are offshore installations for the purposes of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971; and
 
    (c) places of all other descriptions whether or not occupied as land or otherwise,
       and references in this section to the occupier of premises are to be construed, in relation to premises that are not occupied as land, as references to any person for the time being present at the place in question."
 
 
Parentage
Presumption of parentage in child support cases.     15. - (1) In section 26(2) of the 1991 Act (cases in which the Secretary of State may assume a person to be the parent of a child for the purpose of making a maintenance calculation under that Act), before Case A there shall be inserted-
 
 
"Case A1      Where-
 
    (a) the child is habitually resident in England and Wales;
 
    (b) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the alleged parent was married to the child's mother at some time in the period beginning with the conception and ending with the birth of the child; and
 
    (c) the child has not been adopted.
Case A2      Where-
 
 
    (a) the child is habitually resident in England and Wales;
 
    (b) the alleged parent has been registered as father of the child under section 10 or 10A of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, or in any register kept under section 13 (register of births and still-births) or section 44 (Register of Corrections Etc) of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965, or under Article 14 or 18(1)(b)(ii) of the Births and Deaths Registration (Northern Ireland) Order 1976; and
 
    (c) the child has not subsequently been adopted.
Case A3      Where the result of a scientific test (within the meaning of section 27A) taken by the alleged parent would be relevant to determining the child's parentage, and the alleged parent-
 
 
    (a) refuses to take such a test; or
 
    (b) has submitted to such a test, and it shows that there is no reasonable doubt that the alleged parent is a parent of the child."
      (2) In that provision, after Case B there shall be inserted-
 
 
"Case B1      Where the Secretary of State is satisfied that the alleged parent is a parent of the child in question by virtue of section 27 or 28 of that Act (meaning of "mother" and of "father" respectively)."
 
 
Disqualification from driving
Disqualification from driving.     16. - (1) After section 39 of the 1991 Act, there shall be inserted-
 
 
"Commitment to prison and disqualification from driving.     39A. - (1) Where the Secretary of State has sought-
 
    (a) in England and Wales to levy an amount by distress under this Act; or
 
    (b) to recover an amount by virtue of section 36 or 38,
       and that amount, or any portion of it, remains unpaid he may apply to the court under this section.
 
      (2) An application under this section is for whichever the court considers appropriate in all the circumstances of-
 
 
    (a) the issue of a warrant committing the liable person to prison; or
 
    (b) an order for him to be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence.
      (3) On any such application the court shall (in the presence of the liable person) inquire as to-
 
 
    (a) whether he needs a driving licence to earn his living;
 
    (b) his means; and
 
    (c) whether there has been wilful refusal or culpable neglect on his part.
      (4) The Secretary of State may make representations to the court as to whether he thinks it more appropriate to commit the liable person to prison or to disqualify him from holding or obtaining a driving licence; and the liable person may reply to those representations.
 
      (5) In this section and section 40B, "driving licence" means a licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
 
      (6) In this section "the court" means-
 
 
    (a) in England and Wales, a magistrates' court;
 
    (b) in Scotland, the sheriff."
      (2) In section 40 of the 1991 Act, subsections (1) and (2) shall be omitted.
 
      (3) Before section 41 of the 1991 Act, there shall be inserted-
 
 
"Disqualification from driving: further provision.     40B. - (1) If, but only if, the court is of the opinion that there has been wilful refusal or culpable neglect on the part of the liable person, it may-
 
    (a) order him to be disqualified, for such period specified in the order but not exceeding two years as it thinks fit, from holding or obtaining a driving licence (a "disqualification order"); or
 
    (b) make a disqualification order but suspend its operation until such time and on such conditions (if any) as it thinks just.
      (2) The court may not take action under both section 40 and this section.
 
      (3) A disqualification order must state the amount in respect of which it is made, which is to be the aggregate of-
 
 
    (a) the amount mentioned in section 35(1), or so much of it as remains outstanding; and
 
    (b) an amount (determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State) in respect of the costs of the application under section 39A.
      (4) A court which makes a disqualification order shall require the person to whom it relates to produce any driving licence held by him, and its counterpart (within the meaning of section 108(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988).
 
      (5) On an application by the Secretary of State or the liable person, the court-
 
 
    (a) may make an order substituting a shorter period of disqualification, or make an order revoking the disqualification order, if part of the amount referred to in subsection (3) (the "amount due") is paid to any person authorised to receive it; and
 
    (b) must make an order revoking the disqualification order if all of the amount due is so paid.
      (6) The Secretary of State may make representations to the court as to the amount which should be paid before it would be appropriate to make an order revoking the disqualification order under subsection (5)(a), and the person liable may reply to those representations.
 
      (7) The Secretary of State may make a further application under section 39A if the amount due has not been paid in full when the period of disqualification specified in the disqualification order expires.
 
      (8) Where a court-
 
 
    (a) makes a disqualification order;
 
    (b) makes an order under subsection (5); or
 
    (c) allows an appeal against a disqualification order,
       it shall send notice of that fact to the Secretary of State; and the notice shall contain such particulars and be sent in such manner and to such address as the Secretary of State may determine.
 
      (9) Where a court makes a disqualification order, it shall also send the driving licence and its counterpart, on their being produced to the court, to the Secretary of State at such address as he may determine.
 
      (10) Section 80 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (application of money found on defaulter) shall apply in relation to a disqualification order under this section in relation to a liable person as it applies in relation to the enforcement of a sum mentioned in subsection (1) of that section.
 
      (11) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision in relation to disqualification orders corresponding to the provision he may make under section 40(11).
 
      (12) In the application to Scotland of this section-
 
 
    (a) in subsection (2) for "section 40" substitute "section 40A";
 
    (b) in subsection (3) for paragraph (a) substitute-
    "(a) the appropriate amount under section 38;";
 
    (c) subsection (10) is omitted; and
 
    (d) for subsection (11) substitute-
 
    "(11) The power of the Court of Session by Act of Sederunt to regulate the procedure and practice in civil proceedings in the sheriff court shall include power to make, in relation to disqualification orders, provision corresponding to that which may be made by virtue of section 40A(8)."
      (13) In section 164(5) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (power of constables to require production of driving licence etc.), after "Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988" there shall be inserted ", section 40B of the Child Support Act 1991".
 
      (14) In section 27(3) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (offence of failing to produce a licence), for the word "then," there shall be substituted ", or if the holder of the licence does not produce it and its counterpart as required by section 40B of the Child Support Act 1991, then," ".
 
Civil imprisonment: Scotland.     17. - (1) In section 40 of the 1991 Act, for subsections (12) to (14) there shall be substituted-
 
 
    "(12) This section does not apply to Scotland."
 
      (2) After section 40 there shall be inserted-
 
 
"Commitment to prison: Scotland.     40A. - (1) If, but only if, the sheriff is satisfied that there has been wilful refusal or culpable neglect on the part of the liable person he may-
 
    (a) issue a warrant for his committal to prison; or
 
    (b) fix a term of imprisonment and postpone the issue of the warrant until such time and on such conditions (if any) as he thinks just.
      (2) A warrant under this section-
 
 
    (a) shall be made in respect of an amount equal to the aggregate of-
 
      (i) the appropriate amount under section 38; and
 
      (ii) an amount (determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State) in respect of the expenses of commitment; and
 
    (b) shall state that amount.
      (3) No warrant may be issued under this section against a person who is under the age of 18.
 
      (4) A warrant issued under this section shall order the liable person-
 
 
    (a) to be imprisoned for a specified period; but
 
    (b) to be released (unless he is in custody for some other reason) on payment of the amount stated in the warrant.
      (5) The maximum period of imprisonment which may be imposed by virtue of subsection (4) is six weeks.
 
      (6) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the period of imprisonment specified in any warrant issued under this section to be reduced where there is part payment of the amount in respect of which the warrant was issued.
 
      (7) A warrant issued under this section may be directed to such person as the sheriff thinks fit.
 
      (8) The power of the Court of Session by Act of Sederunt to regulate the procedure and practice in civil proceedings in the sheriff court shall include power to make provision-
 
 
    (a) as to the form of any warrant issued under this section;
 
    (b) allowing an application under this section to be renewed where no warrant is issued or term of imprisonment is fixed;
 
    (c) that a statement in writing to the effect that wages of any amount have been paid to the liable person during any period, purporting to be signed by or on behalf of his employer, shall be sufficient evidence of the facts stated;
 
    (d) that, for the purposes of enabling an inquiry to be made as to the liable person's conduct and means, the sheriff may issue a citation to him to appear before the sheriff and (if he does not obey) may issue a warrant for his arrest;
 
    (e) that for the purpose of enabling such an inquiry, the sheriff may issue a warrant for the liable person's arrest without issuing a citation;
 
    (f) as to the execution of a warrant of arrest."
 
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