SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT
What is the Special Investigations function of the Office?
"To address misconduct in agencies exercising the coercive powers of the State and to conduct special investigations as maybe authorised."
In 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman was also given the power under the Ombudsman Act 2013 to look into and inquire about misconduct cases of agencies exercising coercive powers of the State including police and prisons officers as well as any other law enforcement agency in Samoa. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was set up in 2016 and is responsible for:
- receiving, investigating and determining any complaints about a police officer, prison officer or officer of other prescribed disciplined force; and
- carrying out any other functions, duties or powers under any other Act or as are prescribed by regulations.
SIU however, is not to investigate any matter that is being investigated or inquired into by the Police, Prisons or prescribed disciplined force under their respective Acts, unless an exception applies which include situations where the Ombudsman has reasons to believe that:
- there is an abuse of process by the Police, Prisons or prescribed disciplined force; or
- there has been an unreasonable delay in the investigation; or
- the matter has not been appropriately investigated.
More information about the role, functions and powers of SIU are contained in Part 5 (section 41) of the Ombudsman Act 2013 found here and in the Ombudsman (SIU) Regulations 2016 found here