How We Do It
receive a complaint we first see whether or not the organisation
complained about is one which we can investigate. The page
entitled ‘What we do not do’ tells you what we cannot
Then we see what other
information we can get about the company, both from the person
who has complained and from other sources, and assess the extent
to which the activities of the company may pose a threat to the
public in general. This process is known as Vetting.
Where we decide that there is
sufficient good reason to investigate, and that an investigation
is in the wider public interest, we will appoint investigators.
Although this appointment is
made by the Secretary of State, the appointment document will be
signed by a Departmental official who has the authority to do
Investigations are usually
carried out by CIB staff. They may however be carried out by
other professionals with the necessary expertise, but under the
supervision of CIB. The investigators will, if required, produce
copies of their authorities and identity cards.
The investigator(s) will then
call at the company’s premises (often unannounced) and talk to
the company’s officers. They will ask questions of those who
appear to be in charge and require sight of documents which they
feel will be useful in the enquiry, taking photocopies of
anything they consider to be important. The investigator also
has the facility to obtain electronic copies of information held
Investigators can demand
detailed information not only from the company’s directors, but
also from other company employees and third parties who may be
in possession of relevant documents and information.
The time taken to investigate
will depend on many factors, but in particular the complexity of
the issues and the extent of co-operation received. Our
published target is to complete 90% of investigations within 6
months, but in practice the majority are completed much sooner
Once our investigators are
satisfied that all the necessary information has been obtained,
they will consider it with a view to recommending whether or not
the Department needs to take follow up action. If necessary they
will obtain legal advice.
Any appropriate follow up action
identified and agreed will be taken.
For further details of the legal
basis on which our investigations are carried out please refer
to “The Law” page on this Website.
What we do
What we do not do
What can happen
How to complain