MPCC-2009-013

On November 17, 2008, the complainant filed a conduct complaint primarily related to the conduct of various fellow members of the Military Police Security Section (MPSS) at a Canadian Embassy abroad. The allegations appeared to relate to the handling of certain harassment complaints within the MPSS unit as well as certain other unit personnel-related matters. However, his complaint also took issue with the handling of a criminal/service offence investigation conducted by two members of the CFNIS. In December 2008, the Chairperson pursuant to section 250.2 of the National Defence Act (NDA), granted an extension of the one-year limit, and the complaint was transferred to the CFPM for disposition in accordance with NDA section 250.26.

Initially, the DPM PS advised the complainant and the Commission that a portion of the complaint dealing with the conduct of one of the MPSS members would be investigated as a conduct complaint under Part IV and the other elements constituted administrative matters. In a letter dated March 23, 2009, on further assessment of the complaint, the DPM PS advised that the allegations did not in fact relate to the performance of “policing duties or functions” for the purposes of NDA section 250.18, therefore, the investigation would proceed as a DPM PS “internal” (non-Part IV) complaint.

While the Commission agreed that certain aspects of the complaint appeared to relate to personnel and administrative matters, the Commission also indicated that the determination of whether the member is engaged in the performance of “policing duties or functions” must be based on a consideration of the actual activities which are the subject of the complaint, rather than the overall mandate or tasking of the subject member’s unit or posting. The Commission also noted that the complainant’s letter of November 17, 2008, contained allegations regarding the conduct of a criminal/service office investigation by to members of the CFNIS, which did appear to constitute a conduct complaint within the meaning of NDA Part IV.

In a letter dated July 21, 2009, the DPM PS agreed with the Commission’s approach to applying the “policing duties and functions” definition to the specific MP activities complained of, rather than solely on the nature of the member’s posting. Having then re-visited its assessment of the complaint, the DPM PS reaffirmed that the allegations against members of the Embassy MPSS do not relate to the performance of “policing duties and functions” within the meaning of NDA Part IV. However, the DPM PS agreed with the Commission that the complainant’s allegations concerning the CFNIS should be classified as a conduct complaint within the meaning of NDA Part IV and would be treated accordingly. The ensuing DPM PS investigation of this conduct complaint and its subsequent review by the Commission proceeded under a new file.

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