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Statutes of Newfoundland 1995


CHAPTER S-17

CHAPTER S-17.1

AN ACT RESPECTING THE SOCIAL SERVICES APPEAL BOARD

(Assented to December 21, 1995)

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Social Services Appeal Board

4. Appeal to appeal board

5. Trial Division

6. Regulations

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Social Services Appeal Board Act.

Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "appeal board" means the Social Services Appeal Board appointed under section 3;

(b) "department" means the department presided over by the minister and includes a department designated by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for the purpose of this Act; and

(c) "minister" means the minister responsible for the administration of this Act.

Social Services Appeal Board

3. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint an appeal board, to be known as the Social Services Appeal Board, consisting of 3 persons who are not employees of the government of the province or of a board, commission, corporation or other body that is an agency of the Crown.

(2) The members appointed under subsection (1) shall be persons who have the qualifications for appointment set out in the regulations.

(3) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint one member as chairperson and one member as vice-chairperson who shall act as chairperson in the absence of the chairperson.

(4) The chairperson may obtain from a qualified person the advice or further clarification that may be needed by the board.

(5) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint not more than 3 persons, who are not employees of the government of the province or of a board, commission, corporation or other body that is an agency of the Crown, as alternate members of the appeal board to act as members of the appeal board during the absence of a regular member appointed under subsection (1) at a hearing required to be held under this section.

(6) An alternate member appointed under subsection (5) is considered for the purpose of this section to be a member of the appeal board.

(7) A member of the appeal board, or alternate member, is eligible for appointment, during good behaviour, for a period of 3 years and is eligible for reappointment.

(8) Members of the appeal board shall be paid the remuneration and expenses that may be prescribed by the regulations.

(9) Where a member of the appeal board stops being a member during his or her period in office, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall as soon as possible fill the vacancy.

(10) The minister shall appoint an employee in the department to be secretary of the appeal board.

(11) The secretary appointed under subsection (10) shall keep full records of the proceedings of the appeal board.

Appeal to appeal board

4. (1) A person affected or aggrieved by a finding or decision of an official of the department may, either personally or through another person acting on his or her behalf with his or her written consent, appeal from that finding or decision to the appeal board.

(2) The appeal board shall

(a) acknowledge the appeal;

(b) arrange a date for hearing the appeal;

(c) give at least 7 days notice of the date, time and place fixed for hearing the appeal to the person appealing and to the officials of the department who are concerned;

(d) hear the appeal; and

(e) upon the conclusion of the hearing, confirm, vary or set aside the finding or decision with power to give directions, consistent with social services legislation, respecting the granting, refusal, suspension, discontinuance, reduction, resumption of services or an amount of an allowance that the appeal board considers appropriate.

(3) For the purpose of presenting his or her case and producing evidence, a person appealing to the appeal board under subsection (1) may appear before the appeal board on his or her own behalf or be represented by counsel or an agent of his or her choice and may accompany and appear with his or her counsel or agent before the appeal board.

(4) Where the person appealing to the appeal board under this section does not, in person or by his or her counsel or agent, attend the hearing of the appeal after being notified under this section, unless that failure to attend is due to circumstances beyond that person's control and he or she has, by written notice, advised the appeal board that he or she wishes to attend and sets out, in the notice, the circumstances that prevent him or her from attending, the appeal board may proceed in his or her absence to examine into the matter of the appeal and to hear the witnesses and adjudicate on the matter.

(5) For the purpose of this Act the appeal board has the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act.

(6) The decision of 2 members constitutes the decision of the appeal board.

(7) The appeal board shall communicate in writing its finding or decision to the department and to the person who appealed to it as soon as possible after that finding or decision is made.

(8) The appeal board may, before deciding the matter of the appeal, refer a question of law or of mixed law and fact raised at the hearing of the appeal for the opinion of a judge of the Trial Division, and the Rules of the Supreme Court, 1986 made under the Judicature Act relating to a special case apply to a reference made under this subsection as if that reference were made by the parties to the appeal.

(9) A finding or decision of

(a) an official of the department; or

(b) a review committee

respecting the granting, refusal, suspension, discontinuance, reduction, resumption of services or of the amount of an allowance is not subject to appeal to or review by a court of law.

Trial Division

5. Without limiting the remedial prerogatives vested at law in a person, an appeal lies from the decision of the appeal board to a judge of the Trial Division upon a point of law or of mixed law and fact, and the practice and procedure under the Judicature Act and the Rules of the Supreme Court, 1986 relating to appeals apply to proceedings under this section, and the judge of the Trial Division may award costs in that appeal under this section for or against the Crown and may fix the amount of the costs.

Regulations

6. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing qualifications of persons for appointment as members of the appeal board, and different qualifications may be prescribed for different persons for appointment to the appeal board;

(b) prescribing who shall be considered a qualified person for the purpose of subsection 3(4);

(c) prescribing the time within which an appeal to the appeal board under section 4 may be taken;

(d) prescribing the purpose of the appeal board, the procedure on applications for appeals and on the conduct of appeals;

(e) for giving effect to a finding or decision of an appeal board;

(f) providing for the payment by the province to members of the appeal board of remuneration and expenses;

(g) prescribing the time when and the manner in which findings or decisions of the appeal board shall be communicated to the persons concerned;

(h) providing for the payment by the province of travelling and other expenses respecting the attendance of the person appealing to the appeal board, or of his or her representative, or of witnesses, including conferring on the appeal board the power to fix the expenses to be paid or to direct that no expenses be paid;

(i) respecting other matters relating to the appeal board that appear necessary or desirable to ensure that applications respecting social assistance, rehabilitation allowances or services or other matters relating to appeals under section 4 are fully considered and dealt with; and

(j) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

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