The investigations conducted under the Act are administrative in nature. Decisions whether a wrongdoing has been committed are made on the balance of probabilities test (which means that it is more likely to be true than not true). A decision whether to refer a reprisal complaint to the Tribunal is made, according to the Act, on the basis of whether there are “reasonable grounds for believing a reprisal was taken”.
The rights to procedural fairness and natural justice of all persons involved in investigations are respected throughout the investigation process. This means that any person adversely affected by the allegations will be informed of the details of the allegations in due course and will have a full and ample opportunity to respond to them, either orally or in writing, or both, throughout the process.
As required by the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, the Commissioner must refuse to disclose any personal information that was obtained or created by him or obtained or created by the Office’s investigators in the course of an investigation. As required by the Act, the Commissioner and his investigators shall not disclose any information that comes to their knowledge in the performance of their duties, unless otherwise required by law.
The Commissioner will launch an investigation when there are sufficient grounds to believe that wrongdoing or reprisal has occurred, after a thorough analysis of all the relevant information related to the protected disclosure or reprisal complaint.
Regardless of whether or not the Commissioner decides to pursue an investigation into the allegations, the discloser or reprisal complainant is notified in writing of the reasons for his decision.