Given the variety of complaints received, the investigation process is necessarily flexible to meet the needs of each investigation. There are, however, some core tenets in every investigation.
Where the Commissioner determines to commence an investigation into a practitioner's conduct, Commissioner’s office will generally take some or all of the following steps:
Where the Commissioner considers it appropriate, the Commissioner or his investigators may:
Each investigation must comply with the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness, and that means that there may be multiple exchanges between the Commissioner's office and the practitioner and/or complainant. On occasions it may take some time to complete an investigation.
Most importantly, communications from the Commissioner should not be ignored. It is an offence for those under investigation not to comply with the Commissioner’s requests for information and/or documents with maximum penalties of $50,000 or imprisonment for 1 year. In addition, failing to respond to correspondence from the Commissioner can itself amount to misconduct.