If a person fails (or the Commission thinks that they are likely to fail), without reasonable excuse, to provide any information required in the notice, the Commission can apply to the county court (or sheriff in Scotland) for an order requiring the person to take specified steps in order to comply with the notice.
It is an offence if, without reasonable excuse, a person fails to comply with a notice or order; falsifies any information, documents or evidence produced or makes a false statement in giving oral evidence. The penalty for such an offence is a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
There are a number of specified exceptions from the requirement to disclose information to the Commission relating to the intelligence service and these are set out in Schedule 2, paragraph 14(1) Equality Act. This paragraph also sets out the procedure by which the Commission may challenge reliance on those exemptions in a tribunal. For all other grounds relating to national security (i.e. all other grounds apart from those set out in paragraph 14(1)) a person may apply to the High Court (or Court of Session in Scotland) to have a notice cancelled.
Reports and recommendations
Schedule 2 paragraphs 15 - 16, Equality Act 2006 (margin note)
The Commission will publish a report of its findings following an assessment and may also make recommendations in respect of the assessment and in respect of any matter arising in the course of the assessment. The recommendations may be addressed to the public authority assessed or to any class of person.
Effect of a report
Schedule 2 paragraphs 17 – 18, Equality Act 2006 (margin note)
Anyone to whom a recommendation is addressed must take it into account.
A tribunal or court may take into account the Commission’s findings following an assessment, but will not treat those findings as conclusive.
Courts and tribunals
Schedule 2 paragraph 19, Equality Act 2006 (margin note)
An assessment may not question, either expressly or by implication, the findings of a court or tribunal.