MPCC-2005-035-Interference

This complaint came from an MP who alleged a military commander at another Canadian Forces Base interfered with his investigation by insisting the MP go through the chain of command to arrange interviews with witnesses who were members of his unit.

The MP was equally insistent that, to maintain the integrity of the investigation, he had to contact the witnesses directly.

The Commission noted that commanders have an operational need to know when personnel in their command are the subject of an MP investigation, but there may also be instances where informing the chain of command could compromise an investigation.

In order to resolve what has been a long-standing area of conflict between MPs and the chain of command - and generate fewer complaints of this type in the future - the Commission recommended the Canadian Forces develop a policy setting out the process to be followed when MPs need to contact members of the Canadian Forces in other units for investigative purposes.

As a result of this investigation, the Chief of the Defence Staff directed the Provost Marshal to review existing policy to ensure a process that offers a proper balance between the chain of command’s operational needs and the needs of MPs to protect the integrity of their investigations.

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