ISME Dawn Raid Guide

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“Dawn raid” is the colloquial expression given to an unannounced inspection of a company’s premises, usually as part of an ongoing investigation by regulatory or law-enforcement authorities. Any company, no matter its size, may be subject to a dawn raid. Dawn raids are usually triggered by a complaint e.g. from an employee, customer, competitor, an anonymous tip, or an individual subject to investigation by a state agency. They may also be initiated by authorities on their own initiative. There are currently 16 agencies or regulators with the power to conduct unannounced or surprise visits to company premises:

  1. The Health and Safety Authority
  2. The Corporate Enforcement Authority
  3. An Garda Síochána
  4. The Revenue Commissioners
  5. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
  6. The Data Protection Commission
  7. The Environmental Protection Agency
  8. The Central Bank of Ireland
  9. The Commission for Aviation Regulation
  10. The Commission for Communications Regulation
  11. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities
  12. The European Commission
  13. The Health Information and Quality Authority
  14. The Health Products Regulatory Authority
  15. The National Standards Authority of Ireland 16. The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, the Pharmacy Regulator

The objective is to secure evidence of a suspected breach of law. The regulator usually has the following powers:

  • Power to enter the premises, by force if necessary
  • Power to search the premises

View the ISME Dawn Raid Guide here.