Conducting internal investigations into misconduct

30 June, 2016
The Victorian Ombudsman has teamed up with the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) on a guide to help people working in government agencies and local councils internally investigate misconduct.
Being able to conduct an effective internal investigation is essential for the day-to-day operation of an organisation.
There are many types of investigations, including those into complaints of poor service, discrimination or harassment, unsafe work practices, unfair personnel decisions or inefficient business practices.
This publication addresses a complex subset of investigations – those examining allegations of staff misconduct.
A well-conducted internal investigation helps ensure those who have engaged in improper conduct are identified and dealt with appropriately. It can also help clear those who have been wrongly suspected or accused. A good internal investigation process also ensures the boundaries of acceptable behaviour within your organisation are clarified.
 A fair investigation process can boost support for the investigation process within the workplace and acceptance of its outcomes. It can also set the tone for how people are treated within the organisation.
 A person can come to work and be confident that if their conduct is questioned, they will be afforded a fair and thorough investigation process.

Purpose of this guide

This publication is a practical guide for people conducting an internal investigation into alleged misconduct.
It is not intended to be a comprehensive instruction manual. For more information, consult with your supervisor, legal department, internal audit section or human resources area.
The guide comprises five chapters:
  1. Receiving allegations
  2. Assessing the allegations
  3. Planning the investigation
  4. Conducting the investigation
  5. Analysis and reporting