Standards of Service - Policy on Complaints about Employees or Agents of the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC)
Table of Contents
- Effective Date
- Policy Statement
- Responsibility and Authority
The purpose of this policy is to create a transparent and fair method of responding to complaints about the Military Police Complaints Commission, its employees and agents.
2. Effective Date
The effective date of this policy is June 11, 2008.
3. Policy Statement
The MPCC is committed to providing the highest quality of services and to being open and transparent. The MPCC is also committed to continuous self-improvement.
This policy applies to complaints against employees or agents of the MPCC.
6. Responsibility and Authority
6.1 Identifying Complaints
Dissatisfaction with the outcome of an investigation is not a complaint. The complaint procedure is not another forum for reconsideration, appeal or judicial review. If the MPCC receives a complaint for which the appropriate action to take is to apply for a reconsideration, to appeal or to apply for a judicial review of a decision, the MPCC will inform the complainant accordingly.
As part of the MPCC's commitment to service quality, it will accept complaints concerning services provided by the MPCC or about the conduct of MPCC employees or agents. Complaints will only be accepted from persons directly affected by the service or conduct that is the subject of the complaint. A complaint must be made within 30 days of the incident that is the subject of the complaint.
Should a person who was not directly affected by the subject matter of the complaint make a complaint (third party complainant), the MPCC shall, as soon as possible after receiving the complaint, attempt to find the person who was directly affected by the subject matter of the complaint and send him or her a notice.
The notice shall indicate that a complaint has been received; that the person is entitled to be the complainant in the matter and that the complaint will not be dealt with further unless he or she wishes to pursue the complaint.
The complaint shall not be further dealt with if the person to who the MPCC sends the notice, does not within 30 days of the date of the notice respond to the MPCC with a request to be the complainant in the matter, or if no person capable of being the complainant is identified within 30 days of receipt of the complaint.
6.2 Initial Response
The policy and the process referred to within, only applies to complaints that are received in writing. Complaints that are not received in writing will be brought to the attention of the Chair and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, in a manner that the Chair deems appropriate. It is anticipated that oral complaints may be resolved at this stage. Should a resolution not be deemed possible at this stage, the complainant will be advised of his or her right to submit a letter of complaint. Oral complaints and resolutions will be documented and both the complainant and the subject of the complaint will be notified of the resolution.
Complaints will be accepted in either official language and treated with confidentiality.
All written complaints received by the MPCC will be forwarded to the Chair. Within five days of receiving the complaint, a letter of acknowledgement will be sent. If the matter can be dealt with immediately, this letter will also serve as the resolution. Furthermore, if the Chair is of the opinion on reasonable grounds that the complaint is frivolous, vexatious and/or discloses no genuine issue for investigation, the complainant will be so informed. If any further action is required, the letter will advise how long it should take to receive a further response.
If the circumstances permit, the Chair may determine that the complaint is best resolved by informal means such as mediation or facilitation.
Within 14 days of receipt of a written complaint or within 5 days of a determination that informal means will not resolve the complaint, the Chair will:
- assign the Chief of Staff or any other appropriate person (such as a part-time member, other manager or a neutral, outside person in those cases where a conflict of interest presents) to investigate the complaint;
- if the complainant identifies an individual or groups of individuals, inform the relevant individual(s) that a complaint has been received unless the Chair is of the opinion that advising the individual(s) might adversely affect or hinder any investigation into the complaint about the conduct of the MPCC employees or agents or might adversely affect or hinder the investigation being conducted by the MPCC under Part IV of the National Defence Act; and,
- where the subject has not been notified immediately, he/she will be notified as soon as practicable.
The investigation may include, but will not necessarily be limited to, interviews with MPCC employees or agents, the complainant and others, as appropriate, discussions with relevant stakeholders and reviews of case files, transcripts and other relevant documentation.
The designated investigator will prepare a report for the Chair within 30 days of assignment. If this is not feasible, an interim report will be prepared and submitted pending completion of the final report, which shall be submitted as soon as practical thereafter.
The Chair will determine the appropriate resolution.
A concluding letter will be sent to the complainant and the subject of the complaint explaining the outcome of the investigation. This letter must also be in compliance with Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
If the complaint stems from systemic issues, it may be resolved with an explanation or changes to policies and procedures. However, if warranted, the Chair will meet with the employee and his or her manager to discuss the findings of the investigation and any remedial action.
Any remedial or disciplinary action taken must comply with legislation, collective agreements, jurisprudence, the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, as well as other relevant policies.
Where the outcome of the investigation may affect MPCC policies, procedures and/or operations, the appropriate information will be communicated to the relevant employees as soon as practicable.
The Chair will produce reports to management on the frequency and nature of complaints, and provide useful information derived from complaints to relevant sections of the organization to prevent the recurrence of problems. The Chair will monitor complaints about employees or agents and ensure that the system works.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following documents:
- Quality Service – Who is the Client? – A Discussion Paper (Guide XII), Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
- A Policy Framework for Service Improvement in the Government of Canada, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
- Service Standards : A Guide to the Initiative, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
- Quality Service - Effective Complaint Management (Guide XI), Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Enquiries concerning this policy should be directed to the Chief of Staff.
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