The statutory functions of the Certification Officer are contained in the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 as amended and in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 as amended.
The Certification Officer's functions, include:
Under the 1992 Order -
Articles 5 and 6 - maintaining lists of trade unions and employers' associations, and determining the independence of trade unions;
Articles 11, 12 and 13 - ensuring that trade unions and employers' associations keep proper accounting records, have their accounts properly and independently audited and submit annual returns; investigating the financial affairs of trade unions and employers' associations; ensuring that the statutory requirements concerning the appointment and duties of auditors and the actuarial examination of members' superannuation schemes are observed; and dealing with complaints that a trade union has failed in its duty to secure that positions in the union are not held by certain offenders.
Article 37 - dealing with complaints by members that a trade union has failed to permit access to its accounting records;
Under the 1995 Order -
Article 5 - dealing with complaints by members that a trade union has failed to maintain an accurate register of members;
Article 22 - dealing with complaints by members that a trade union has failed to comply with one or more of the provisions of the 1995 Order requiring it to hold secret postal ballots for electing its president, general secretary and members of its executive committee;
Articles 45 to 72 - ensuring observance by Northern Ireland based trade unions of the statutory procedures governing the setting up, operation and review of political funds, approving the "contacting-in" rule and amendments for Northern Ireland members of trade unions based elsewhere (including Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland), and dealing with complaints about breaches of political fund rules or the conduct of political fund ballots, or the application of general funds for political objects;
Articles 73 to 90 - ensuring that the statutory procedures for amalgamations, transfers of engagements and changes of names of trade unions and employers' associations are complied with, and dealing with complaints by members about the conduct of merger ballots; and
Article 90A - dealing with complaints by members that there has been a breach or threatened breach of the rules of a trade union relating to: the appointment or the election of a person to, or removal of a person from any office; disciplinary proceedings including expulsion; balloting of members (other than in respect of industrial action); and the constitution or proceedings of an executive committee or decision making meeting.