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Skills for Effective Investigations

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Skills for Effective Investigations How Do You Assess the Investigation Results? Presented by: Kwame Addo Director, Investigations & Conflict Resolution – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Skills for Effective Investigations


1
Skills for Effective Investigations
  • How Do You Assess the Investigation Results?
  • Presented by Kwame Addo
  • Director, Investigations Conflict Resolution
  • Office of the Ombudsman
  • City of Toronto
  • January 24, 2012

2
Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Rules of Evidence
  • Standard of Proof
  • Assessing the Evidence
  • Useful Approaches
  • Expert Evidence

3
Agenda
  • Challenges
  • Systemic Issue (s) ?
  • Developing Recommendations
  • Questions

4
Rules of Evidence
  • Formal rules of evidence do not apply
  • Rules useful guide
  • Anything can be considered admissible

5
Burden of Proof
  • Civil vs. criminal
  • Criminal beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Civil burden applied to administrative
    investigations, i.e., balance of probabilities
  • Admin investigations Fairness

6
When to begin the assessment
  • Analysis of the evidence is an ongoing activity
  • Not limited to the end of an investigation
  • Informs decision-making

7
Process of Assessing and Weighing the Evidence
  • Review everything collected during an
    investigation
  • Determine what evidence is relevant to resolving
    the issue under investigation
  • Investigation Plan
  • Can you answer the investigation question?

8
Weighing Evidence contd
  • Three major characteristics to consider
  • Sufficiency
  • Relevance
  • Credibility/Reliability

9
Sufficiency
  • Do you have sufficient information/evidence to
    answer the investigation question, i.e., disprove
    or support the complaint?

10
Relevance
  • Evidence relevant to the issue under
    investigation
  • Positive or negative

11
Credibility/Reliability
  • Source
  • How was it obtained?
  • Corroborated by other evidence
  • Believable?, e.g., Tax Sale investigation
  • Other considerations

12
Useful Approaches
  • Compile collected information in a logical
    fashion and index it, e.g., by issue/allegation
  • Transcribe, summarize interviews as soon as
    possible
  • Use Charts and/or tables to help with analysis

13
Useful Approaches (contd)

Applicable Issue/ Standard/Elements Evidence Exhibit/Page Testimony
I. Taking Mail
a. Took mail Testimony of Ms. Smith Ex. 3, pg. 10 Observed Mr. Green take envelope from supvs desk
b. Without authority Testimony of Supv. Brown Ex. 5, pg. 6 Did not instruct Mr. Green to take mail.
Position description Ex. 8 Not in Mr. Greens official duties
c. Before delivery Testimony of Supv. Brown Ex. 5, pg. 8 Never received the donated tickets
d. With intent to permanently deprive Testimony of Mr. Black Ex. 5, pg. 11 Mr. Green offered to sell him some tickets.
14
Useful Approaches (contd)
District Number of Report Requests Received Average Processing Times (Range) Number of Unresolved Requests
North York 250 41 days (1-259 days) 9 (4)
Scarborough 125 65 days (0-377 days) 11 (9)
Toronto E. York/ Area 1 Toronto E. York/ Area 2 197 124 74 days ( 0-392 days) 57 days (0-355 days) 51 (26) 17 (14)
Etobicoke 179 162 days (23-421 days) 68 (38)
15
Useful Approaches (contd)
  • Examine documents for references to other
    documents or witnesses
  • Record important interviews

16
Useful Approaches (contd)
  • Keep an open mind
  • Consult with other team members or colleagues
  • Summary of facts
  • Argue the case from the respondents point of
    view

17
Assessing Expert Evidence
  • Carefully
  • Assess qualifications
  • What was s/he asked to review
  • Process used
  • Retain your own expert

18
Challenges
  • Too much or too little information
  • He said she/she said

19
Challenges (contd)
  • Housing Matters example
  • On balance, having reviewed the available
    information, I find the Building Superintendents
    belief and accounting of the incident to be
    credible. That said, there are no witnesses to
    the exchange and therefore no definite
    conclusions can be made.
  • Housing Matters, City of Toronto Ombudsman
    Report-January 2010

20
Systemic Issue (s) ?
  • Identification
  • Review evidence through a systemic lens
  • Evidence must be able to support systemic
    recommendations
  • A Duty to Care

21
Developing Recommendations
  • Must be practical
  • Not prescriptive
  • Supported by evidence

22
Questions
23
Contact Info
  • Office of the Ombudsman
  • City of Toronto
  • 375 University Ave., Suite 203
  • Toronto, ON M5G 2J5
  • (416) 392-7062
  • www.ombudstoronto.ca
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