All parties have rights and responsibilities during an investigation. This includes:
- being open, transparent and providing the information requested during an investigation
- keeping all the information related to a case confidential
- the right to request an oral hearing.
By law we have to be impartial and look at a problem without taking sides. During an investigation we will share all the information we receive with all parties and give them an opportunity to comment.
We will not withhold information from other people involved in the case or communicate on a ‘strictly confidential’ or ‘without prejudice’ basis.
For PPF and FAS cases the information provided by other parties will also be made available to any significantly adversely affected people or interested persons.
All parties have a duty to keep all the information about a case confidential. That means it can’t be shared with anyone who isn’t directly involved either during the investigation or after it.
If any party discloses information improperly we may refer the matter to the courts.
The only exceptions to this are Ombudsman determinations. These are not confidential and can be made available to anyone.
Any party to a case can ask us to hold an oral hearing – though it will be our decision, and we may hold one even if we aren’t asked.
For example we might decide, or agree, to hold a hearing if there is a significant conflict of evidence that can’t be decided based on the papers, or if we find that a party may have been dishonest.
If you think we should hold an oral hearing for your case you should write to us explaining why. Oral hearings are open to the public.