All the issues in the complaint need to be clearly identified. On the basis of the issues identified and the information/evidence available, an investigative plan needs to be formulated. This investigative plan need include, in relation to avenues of inquiry, additional information/evidence to be gathered, the witnesses to be interviewed, and task allocation. The plan is to some extent a dynamic process, given that new lines of inquiry may suggest themselves, new evidence may come to light, and so on. Nevertheless, at any particular stage of its development, the plan—in the form that it exists at that stage—should be adhered to. Audits of investigators’ reports are a performance indicator in relation to the quality of investigation plans.
Thorough Treatment of All Information/Evidence
The information/evidence provided in the complaint, including unsubstantiated as well as substantiated claims, needs to be identified and verified (or at least its degree of likelihood established). Additional information/evidence required by the investigative plan should also be sought, verified, and then integrated into the investigative plan as it evolves. Information that is not germane to the investigation might, nevertheless, constitute valuable intelligence and should be forwarded to the relevant agency.