—(1) The Commissioner may from time to time institute inquiries with regard to charities or a particular charity or class of charities, either generally or for particular purposes.
(2) The Commissioner may either conduct such an inquiry himself or appoint a person to conduct it and make a report to him.
(3) For the purposes of any such inquiry, the Commissioner or a person appointed by him to conduct the inquiry may by order require any person —
to furnish accounts and statements in writing with respect to any matter in question at the inquiry, being a matter on which that person has or can reasonably obtain information, or to return answers in writing to any questions or inquiries addressed to him on any such matter, and to verify any such accounts, statements or answers by statutory declaration;
to furnish copies of documents in his custody or under his control which relate to any matter in question at the inquiry, and to verify any such copies by statutory declaration; and
to attend at a specified time and place and give evidence or produce any such documents,
and any person who fails to comply with any requirement specified in the order shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $50 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.
(4) For the purposes of any such inquiry, evidence may be taken on oath, and the person conducting the inquiry may for that purpose administer oaths, or may instead of administering an oath require the person examined to make and subscribe a declaration of the truth of the matters about which he is examined.
(5) Where the Commissioner proposes to take any action in consequence of an inquiry under this section, the Commissioner may publish the report of the person conducting the inquiry, or such other statement of the results of the inquiry as he thinks fit, in any manner calculated in his opinion to bring it to the attention of persons who may wish to make representations to him about the action to be taken.
(6) A copy of the report of the person conducting an inquiry under this section shall, if certified by the Commissioner to be a true copy, be admissible as evidence of any fact stated in the report, and as evidence of the opinion of that person as to any matter referred to in the report, in any legal proceedings instituted by the Commissioner under section 25 and in any legal proceedings instituted by the Attorney-General in respect of a charity.
(7) A document purporting to be a certificate issued for the purposes of subsection (6) shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such a certificate unless the contrary is proved.
(8) If any person wilfully alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys any document which he may be required to produce under this section, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.
[Charities Act 1985 Ed., s. 7]