Investigation-Large Public Sector Organisation

The Futures Group (TFG) undertook an investigation in accordance with the Public Sector Management Act within a public sector organisation into long term systemic allegations of bullying and mistreatment towards an employee by other employees. Initial findings by another investigation firm were challenged by the Defendants, which was upheld by the Public Sector Commissioner, finding that procedural fairness to the Defendants had not been provided. TFG was appointed to undertake a further investigation into the allegations made by the complainant.

The investigation was completed into the long list of the allegations made, some of which were inconsistent with the original investigation findings. Given the time factor of many of the allegations, witness accounts were at times vague and unclear which further added to the uncertainty of the outcomes of the allegations. Given this dilemma, TFG took the view that for any allegation to be upheld an allegation must stand the civil standard of proof test which means for an allegation to be substantiated the evidence must establish that it is more probable than not, that the alleged conduct occurred. In this instance, there were found to be clear inconsistencies between the Complainant’s allegation specifics, and those of the Defendants and independent witnesses, to the extent dates and details of particular incidents, were incorrectly reported in the first place.

The lessons from this investigation showed that investigations must be carried out in accordance with due process, as well, details of any allegations having to be clear and specific if they are to be thoroughly and properly investigated.