On September 28, 2009, the complainant filed a conduct complaint against an MP from a military base where the complainant previously worked, making allegations of biased investigation, destruction of evidence, breach of medical confidentiality, violation of the Privacy Act, and racism. The allegations in the complaint stemmed from a 2007 MP investigation of the complainant. He was being investigated by the MP at the request of his unit for various Code of Service Discipline infractions. During the course of the MP investigation various steps were taken which included:
- The MP met with the complainant’s supervisor on two occasions;
- The MP conducted a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) search relative to the complainant;
- The MP contacted the local municipal transit authority’s Special Constable Force to obtain details regarding a then outstanding charge against the complainant;
- The MP met with the Base Surgeon in an effort to ascertain the complainant’s medical condition due to difficulties in making contact with him to arrange for an interview;
- on April 20, 2007, the MP conducted a brief interview with the complainant – the interview being terminated at the complainant’s request on the advice of legal counsel;
- and the MP met with members of his chain of command in an attempt to corroborate his claim that he had notified his chain of command regarding outstanding civilian criminal charges.
The complainant was subsequently released from the CF in 2007, and no proceedings under the Code of Service Discipline were initiated.
While the MP investigative activity appeared to have concluded in the spring of 2007, the MP file remained open until spring of 2008. In reply to a query from the Commission, the investigative MP advised that the delay was due to MP personnel limitations and that this particular investigation was a lower priority since the complainant’s unit indicated an intention to deal with the matter administratively. The complainant expressed the belief that the MP file was kept on active status for the purpose of thwarting his access to the file material under the Privacy Act.
While the Commission accepted the MP’s explanation of the reasons for the delay in closing the relevant MP file, it notes that this did have the effect of delaying the complainant’s access to the file under the Privacy Act. When the complainant did gain access to the file, the recording of his April 20, 2007 interview was no longer available. The unavailability of the recording prompted the complainant to file a complaint against DND with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC). The OPC issued its report concluding that the complaint was not well-founded.
The DPM PS concluded there was no indication of any breach of either the MP Code of Professional Conduct or the MP Policies and Technical Procedures. The DPM PS noted that the complainant’s allegations of racism appeared to be directed at civilian police who had involvement with the complainant. The DPM PS also noted that any confidential medical information which may have been released had not been in the possession of the MPs. Also, as the complainant had declined to proceed with the MP interview to which the recording pertained, the recording had no evidentiary value requiring the MPs to preserve it. The complainant requested a review of his complaint.
After a review of the complainant’s extensive correspondence, the Commission concluded the true focus of his criticism is his former supervisor and the administrative action taken against him. However, the complainant’s former supervisor is not an MP, and therefore is not under the Commission’s jurisdiction for the allegations which do involve MP conduct, the Commission agreed with the DPM PS’s conclusions and did not consider that there would be any purpose served by further investigation.
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