Chair-Initiated Complaint Into the public disclosure by the RCMP of its criminal investigation of the possible breach of security regarding the taxation of Canadian Corporate Dividends and Income Trusts



    OTTAWA, March 31 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Paul E. Kennedy, Chair of the
Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC), the federal agency
that provides independent civilian review of RCMP members' conduct in
performing their policing duties, has today released his Final Report of the
Chair-initiated complaint into the public disclosure by the RCMP of its
criminal investigation of the possible breach of security regarding the
taxation of Canadian Corporate Dividends and Income Trusts. The investigation
was conducted pursuant to subsection 45.42(2) of the RCMP Act.
    In his complaint, Mr. Kennedy had questioned whether:

    
        - RCMP officers involved in the public release of information
          complied with all appropriate policies, procedures, guidelines and
          statutory requirements for the release of such information; and
        - Whether such policies, procedures and guidelines are adequate to
          address the situation wherein public disclosure of a police
          investigation may have an impact upon the democratic process and
          may call into question public confidence in the independence of the
          police.

    With respect to these allegations, the Chair found that:

        - No RCMP policies, procedures, guidelines or any statutory
          requirements specifically address the public release of information
          concerning highly sensitive situations, such as that existing in
          this instance.
        - Given the absence of any such specific policy, procedures or
          guidelines, he could not find that any RCMP officer failed to
          comply with applicable standards.
        - He concurred with the RCMP that its policies, procedures and
          guidelines are inadequate to address the situation wherein public
          disclosure of a police investigation may have an impact upon the
          democratic process and may call into question public confidence in
          the independence of the police.
    

    Mr. Kennedy indicated that "... the RCMP's policies and standards
relating to the release of information are neither comprehensive nor are they
capable of addressing sensitive situations in which it is necessary to weigh
competing public interests, such as was the case here." Mr. Kennedy also
pointed out that, in the absence of clearly articulated policy, "... RCMP
senior management cannot be held accountable, nor can working level RCMP
officers be given adequate guidance in the conduct of their duties."
    In releasing his findings and recommendations, Mr. Kennedy emphasized
that "... it is imperative that the RCMP issue specific policy to shape any
future exercise of discretion relating to the disclosure of the existence of
highly sensitive investigations such as those that touch upon the federal
electoral process."
    Mr. Kennedy also outlined the elements of "... a framework within which
officers would exercise discretion and against which their conduct could be
more objectively assessed."
    The report can be found on the CPC website at www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Nelson Kalil, Media Relations, (613) 952-2452

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