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Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has commissioned an investigation into the company Novatech; ifso, on what grounds; and when the investigation commenced.[HL6510]

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment appointed company inspectors in the case of Novatech Ltd on 12 January 2006 as a result of complaints received by it.

The department is required under the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 to appoint company inspectors when appropriate where a complaint is received from the public, or members or officers of the company, or any body or person connected with the company. The department's function in this area is to protect the public and to regulate the marketplace.

As with all such inquiries, the inspector's terms of reference are to look into the substance of a complaint and any other matters that they may encounter during their investigation. No further comment can be made until the investigation is concluded.