Section 1096B Evidence of computer stored records in court proceedings etc.

(1) In this section―

“copy record” means any copy of an original record or a copy of that copy made in accordance with either of the methods referred to in subsection (2) and accompanied by the certificate referred to in subsection (4), which original record or copy of an original record is in the possession of the Revenue Commissioners;

“original record” means any document, record or record of an entry in a document or record or information stored by means of any storage equipment, whether or not in a legible form, made or stored by the Revenue Commissioners for the purposes of or in connection with tax, and which is in the possession of the Revenue Commissioners;

“provable record” means an original record or a copy record and, in the case of an original record or a copy record stored in any storage equipment, whether or not in a legible form, includes the production or reproduction of the record in a legible form;

“storage equipment” means any electronic, magnetic, mechanical, photographic, optical or other device used for storing information;

“tax” means any tax, duty, levy or charge under the care and management of the Revenue Commissioners.

(2) Where by reason of―

(a) the deterioration of,

(b) the inconvenience in storing, or

(c) the technical obsolescence in the manner of retaining or storing,

any original record or any copy record, the Revenue Commissioners may―

(i) make a legible copy of that record, or

(ii) store information concerning that record otherwise than in a legible form so that the information is capable of being used to make a legible copy of that record,

and, they may, thereupon destroy that original record or that copy record.

(3) The legible copy of―

(a) a record made, or

(b) the information concerning such record stored,

in accordance with subsection (2) shall be deemed to be an original record for the purposes of this section.

(4) In any proceedings a certificate signed by an officer of the Revenue Commissioners stating that a copy record has been made in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) shall be evidence of the fact of the making of such a copy record and that it is a true copy, unless the contrary is shown.

(5) In any proceedings a document purporting to be a certificate signed by an officer of the Revenue Commissioners, referred to in subsection (4), shall for the purposes of this section be deemed to be such a certificate and to be so signed unless the contrary is shown.

(6) A provable record shall be admissible in evidence in any proceedings and shall be evidence of any fact stated in it or event recorded by it unless the contrary is shown, or unless the court is not satisfied as to the reliability of the system used to make or compile―

(a) in the case of an original record, that record, and

(b) in the case of a copy record, the original on which it was based.

(7) In any proceedings a certificate signed by an officer of the Revenue Commissioners, stating that a full and detailed search has been made for a record of any event in every place where such records are kept and that no such record has been found, shall be evidence that the event did not happen unless the contrary is shown or unless the court is not satisfied―

(a) as to the reliability of the system used to compile or make or keep such records,

(b) that, if the event had happened, a record would have been made of it, and

(c) that the system is such that the only reasonable explanation for the absence of such record is that the event did not happen.

(8) For the purposes of this section, and subject to the direction and control of the Revenue Commissioners, any power, function or duty conferred or imposed on them may be exercised or performed on their behalf by an officer of the Revenue Commissioners.