MPCC-2004-035

Facts and complaint

A Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigator and a member of the local police force met to discuss information that the member of the local police force had received in confidence regarding a civilian employee of the Canadian Forces Base. The information concerned the alleged illegal drug activities of the employee and his spouse. Subsequently, the local police decided to execute a search warrant of the employee's residence, with the assistance of the RCMP, and requested the attendance of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigator and a uniformed Military Police member. The warrant was served, the residence was searched, drugs were seized, and the RCMP arrested the employee and his spouse. Further to the arrest, the security clearance of the employee was suspended and he was advised not to return to work and to return his identification cards. As a result, the employee's contract with his third-party employer was terminated and he was laid-off. The employee then filed a conduct complaint with the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal containing numerous allegations against the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service and the Military Police.

The complainant alleged that: the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigator had not conducted a thorough or proper investigation, the investigator had been delinquent in the performance of his duties, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigation report was defective and the actions of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service and the Military Police led to the complainant's loss of employment, caused him financial hardship and tarnished his reputation.

Decision of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal

The complainant's file was reviewed by the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards and, based on the review, it was determined that the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service was not the policing body responsible for charging and prosecuting the complainant. Further, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service had simply reported the information and the base authorities were the ones responsible for taking the actions regarding the security clearance and access to the base. As such, it was decided, pursuant to section 250.28(2)(c) of the National Defence Act, that a Professional Standards investigation was “not necessary or reasonably practicable” and the complainant was informed accordingly. Following this, the complainant submitted a letter to the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards expressing his dissatisfaction and raising additional allegations regarding the authority and jurisdiction of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service to investigate him. The Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards again reviewed the file and again maintained the decision that further investigation was not necessary.

The complainant was not satisfied with the disposal of his complaint and asked the Complaints Commission to review his file.

Findings and Recommendations of the Complaints Commission

The Acting Chairperson of the Complaints Commission disagreed with the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards decision and the use of section 250.28(2)(c) of the National Defence Act as a rationale for not calling the investigation. In the Acting Chairperson's view, the Military Police members, although not primarily responsible for the complainant's arrest, actively participated in the execution of the search warrant and by doing so were performing policing duties and functions as identified in the National Defence Act. As such, an investigation into the complainant's allegations should have been conducted. The Acting Chairperson recommended that the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards initiate an investigation into the complaint, arrange for the preparation of a formal investigation report and complete a Report of Findings and Actions. The Acting Chairperson also noted that other Military Police members were involved in the execution of the search warrant but were not named as subject members in this complaint. He therefore recommended that the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards review this and name those members in order to ensure that the review is complete and the members' rights are respected.

Reply of the Complaints Commission following the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal Notice of Action

The Acting Chairperson was pleased to note that, in his Notice of Action, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal clarified the rationale of the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards for not initiating a formal investigation and indicated that, in future, the reasoning behind such a decision will be more clearly expressed. The Acting Chairperson is also satisfied that the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal will proceed with an investigation and prepare the necessary reports, as required by the Act. As well, if the complainant is not satisfied with the results of the new disposition of his conduct complaint the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards will inform him of his right to request a review.

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