Code of Ethics of the Private Investigator

In view of the importance of the activity of private investigator, which also includes the figures of the commercial informer and the security operator, and which can only be exercised by persons meeting the specific requirements expressly laid down by law, subject to special police authorisation. Moreover, in view of the delicacy of the individual operations carried out in the course of investigative activities, which often involve interference, with the information obtained, in the private sphere of the recipient of the information, with obvious legal and ethical repercussions. Having regard, moreover, to the new rules adopted by the Italian legislature, which, in application of a Community directive, has regulated and protected the confidentiality (so-called privacy) of natural and legal persons, introducing significant limits on the use of personal data. Considering, consequently, the need to establish uniform rules for the professional category of private investigators to supplement the rules laid down both by the Consolidated Law on Public Security (T.U.L.P.S.) under Royal Decree No. 773/1931 and the relevant Enforcement Regulations, and by Law No. 675/1996 Having regard to the provisions laid down in Articles 134 to 137 of Royal Decree No 773/1931, Articles 257 et seq. of the Enforcement Regulations of the Consolidated Law on Public Security, Legislative Decree No 271 of 28 July 1989 and Articles 38 and 222 of the Implementation, Coordination and Transitory Rules of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and those laid down by Law No 675 of 31 December 1996 and subsequent provisions of the Garante del Lavoro of 31 December 1996, as well as by Law No 675 of 31 December 1996 and subsequent provisions of Law No 675 of 28 July 1989, and by Law No 675 of 31 December 1996. 675 and by the subsequent provisions of the Garante – including the one taken on 27 November 1997 b, 2/1997 “Authorisation for the processing of data apt to reveal the state of health and sexual life” published in the Official Gazette of 29 November 1997 no. 279 and provision no. 6 of 29.12.1997. Federpol – Federazione Italiana degli Istituti Privati per le Investigazioni, per le Informazioni Commerciali e per la Sicurezza (Italian Federation of Private Investigation, Commercial Information and Security Institutions), a national professional association representing the interests of government authorisation holders, pursuant to Articles 134 et seq. of the Consolidated Law on Public Security and Articles 38 and 222 of the Implementation, Coordination and Transitory Rules of the Code of Criminal Procedure, adopts the following Code of Ethics. The professional activity of Private Investigator, in its broadest sense, is marked by scrupulous observance of the fundamental rules of moral integrity, professional responsibility and confidentiality in addition to normal compliance with all applicable laws.

Chapter 1 – General Principles

Title I – Entrustment and Moral Integrity

Art. 1 The private investigator shall scrupulously observe the normal rules of fairness, dignity, sensitivity and high professionalism in the performance of his professional activity, and shall maintain irreproachable conduct even when not at work, given that in performing the delicate task entrusted to him by the client, the investigator does not only perform acts of private interest but also a primary social function of public utility, working alongside the police in the cases provided for by law.

Art. 2 Of particular importance is the behaviour that the investigator must adopt towards the Client: it is his first duty to inform the latter of all the rules governing investigative activity and of the legal consequences arising from the action carried out by the operator, with particular reference to the provisions laid down by Law No. 675/1996.

Art. 3 The private investigator’s attitude towards third parties, whether private citizens or public authorities, must be characterised by the utmost helpfulness and general respect, always within the limits provided for by the laws in force. In respect of the bodies to which the private investigator is subject to control, he must provide the utmost cooperation both in providing all necessary clarifications on the conduct of the investigative activity, and in lending his services in cases where he is asked to assist for the purposes of justice. Art. 4 The holder of the license as well as his collaborators, previously reported to the relevant Prefecture, must always carry out their professional duties with the utmost scruple and commitment, always and in any case avoiding committing acts that limit individual freedom. In particular, they, being required to maintain maximum confidentiality regarding the information acquired in the exercise of investigative activities, must ensure scrupulous compliance with the provisions set out in Law 675/1996 concerning the protection of privacy. Art. 5 In compliance with the law and professional ethics, the private investigator must represent and/or defend his client in such a way that his interest prevails over his own and that of a colleague or third parties in general; if he does not believe he is capable of carrying out the role assumed, he must expressly renounce the role.
License Pref. Modena Prot. 89/2017 area 1/L.P. Art. 134 TULPS Art. 38-222 Legislative Decree 271

Titolo II – Segreto Professionale

Art. 6 Fundamental duty of the investigator, especially in reference to compliance with the privacy legislation referred to in the art. 4, is to inform the Client about the secrecy of the information acquired towards the recipient of the investigation, in cases where he is exempt from informing the latter that he is in possession of his personal data; as well as to inform the client when the same is exempt from requesting the consent of the interested party for the processing of the acquired data.

Art. 7 Regardless of the correct and scrupulous observance of the provisions established by Law no. 675/1996, the relationships that the private investigator must maintain with the press, television or journalism, must be based on respect and protection of the confidentiality of the information acquired through his office. In particular, in the rare cases in which he is not required to observe the duty of secrecy and confidentiality, the private investigator must, however, very carefully evaluate the consequences that may derive from the information provided to the media, through the release of balanced statements and, certainly, never detrimental to the professional dignity of another colleague or of the entire category.

Art. 8 Every form of commercial advertising is free, the private investigator can undertake any initiative he deems most appropriate to advertise his business; neither forms of misleading advertising, aimed at advertising professional services not falling within the scope of the police qualification issued to the private investigator, nor forms of so-called advertising are permitted. misleading, such as to induce customers to believe that services are possible that cannot be legitimately carried out by the holder of the police qualification. Any abuse will be prosecuted in civil and criminal proceedings and through disciplinary action as provided for by this code in the following articles.
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Title III – Granting and termination of the mandate

Art. 9 The holder of the police authorization cannot delegate the direction of the investigative activity to others; in the event that he makes use of the work of collaborators, he must issue timely directives and operational indications for the correct carrying out of the investigations and the operators will not, for any reason, be able to make decisions or undertake initiatives without the consent of the private investigator.

Art. 10 The private investigator can make use of the work of a colleague to carry out particularly complex tasks and after communicating to the Client who must express his consent, also with regard to the compensation for the service carried out by the fellow collaborator.

Art. 11 The investigator, before accepting a professional assignment, must carefully evaluate whether there are cases of incompatibility with other services previously undertaken; in particular he must verify the existence or otherwise of conflicts of interest between the various Clients and whether, if necessary, renounce one of the tasks assigned to him. Art. 12 Given the nature of the freelance activity, the private investigator must maintain a position of impartiality and independence even when joining corporate or associative organizations of a political and/or party nature; he can therefore never be influenced in carrying out his activity, much less alter the result of the performance in order to benefit the organism to which he belongs.

Art. 13 The private investigator, who is required to obtain an explicit mandate from the Client which takes into account above all the provisions set out in Law no. 675/1996, must renounce the assignment when it is contrary to laws or regulations or involves the performance of services expressly prohibited by the laws in force or may still hinder the normal carrying out of judicial police investigations. Art. 14 The private investigator cannot accept the assignment of a new Client if the confidentiality of the information provided by an old Client risks being violated or when the investigator’s knowledge of the old Client’s affairs would benefit the new one.

Art. 15 The above rules are equally applicable in the case of exercising the profession in a corporate form which is likely, however, to give rise to one of the conflicts of interest described in articles 12, 13 and 14. Art. 16 The private investigator cannot use, for no reason, the information acquired through one’s office, least of all with the aim of obtaining a direct or indirect benefit for oneself or others; his position must always be characterized by the utmost correctness and professional seriousness, especially when the nature of the information in his possession is particularly delicate.
License Pref. Modena Prot. 89/2017 area 1/L.P. Art. 134 TULPS Art. 38-222 Legislative Decree 271

Title IV – Determination of compensation

Art. 17 The private investigator is required to respect, when stipulating professional service contracts, the tariff limits set out in the tables, duly posted for public viewing at the Institute’s headquarters, approved by the relevant Prefecture, in order to avoid forms of unfair competition. Art. 18 The fee requested by the private investigator must be explained to the Client in all its items and must be fair and fully justified.

Art. 19 The investigator must not conclude agreements by which the compensation is referable to the result obtained; in particular, it must not enter into agreements with the Client which oblige the latter to recognize part of the result to the investigator, be it a sum of money or any other asset or value obtained at the conclusion of the investigative activity.

Art. 20 When the private investigator requests the payment of an advance on the expenses and/or tariffs applied, this must not go beyond a reasonable estimate of the prices legitimately charged, based on the tariff approved by the competent Prefecture, and of the probable disbursements required by the nature of the investigative assignment. Art. 21 It is absolutely not permitted to divide the compensation deriving from the investigative assignment with people who are not also people belonging to the professional category.

Art. 22 Art. 21 does not apply with regard to sums or fees of any nature paid by a private investigator to the heirs of a deceased colleague or to a colleague who has retired in the case of his takeover, as successor in the practices already followed by that colleague.
License Pref. Modena Prot. 89/2017 area 1/L.P. Art. 134 TULPS Art. 38-222 Legislative Decree 271

Title V – Professional Liability Insurance

Art. 23 It is not mandatory but certainly desirable that, to guarantee the activity carried out, the private investigator, in addition to the deposit paid to the relevant Prefecture at the time of issuing the police qualification, takes out specific insurance for his professional liability within reasonable limits, taking into account the nature and extent of the risks it assumes in the course of its business.

Title VI – Relations with the Prefecture and the territorially competent Police Headquarters

Art. 24 The private investigator must carry out the activities for which he has expressly obtained police authorisation, which he is required to renew annually, following the directives given to him by the territorially competent Prefecture, also adhering to the laws in force on the matter.

Art. 25 The private investigator, holder of the license pursuant to art. 134 T.U.L.P.S. approved with R.D. n. 773/1931, is required to personally manage the activity, for which he is responsible to third parties and the Administrations responsible for its control, as he cannot in any way delegate anyone to these tasks.

Art. 26 The private investigator must, in particular, note in the register of daily operations, the keeping of which is mandatory pursuant to art. 135 T.U.L.P.S. and of the relevant Implementing Regulation, previously endorsed by the competent Police Authority: A) the name, date and place of birth of the persons for whom the business or operations are carried out. B) the date and type of the same, the agreed fee and the outcome of the operation. C) the details of the identity document or other document with equivalent value.

Art. 27 It is the investigator’s duty to provide his work in favor of the Police Authority. who makes a specific request, also adhering to all the requests addressed to him also for the purposes of monitoring the activity of the private investigator.

Art. 28 The private investigator must, before hiring personnel assigned to collaborate in the exercise of the professional activity, communicate the individual names to the territorially competent Prefecture, which will take note of them.

Art. 29 The Police Commissioner is institutionally responsible for operational control over the correct exercise of the activity of the private investigator, who is required to provide maximum collaboration in the case of control requests and inspections.

License Pref. Modena Prot. 89/2017 area 1/L.P. Art. 134 TULPS Art. 38-222 Legislative Decree 271

Titolo VII – Rapporti tra Investigatori Privati

Art. 30 The spirit of collaboration requires a relationship of trust between private investigators in the interest of their clients; it must never place the interests of private investigators in conflict with those of justice, especially when it operates in the exercise of investigative activity for criminal defense.

Art. 31 The private investigator will recognize as colleagues all investigators who have obtained the required police authorization issued by the relevant Prefecture. Art. 32 Given the extremely delicate nature of the activity carried out by the private investigator, all communications between colleagues are to be considered confidential. This means that the private investigator does not detect communications with third parties and does not send a copy of the correspondence to his Client; when such communications are made in writing they must, however, bear the wording “confidential”.

Art. 33 In the event that the recipient is not able to give the correspondence a “confidential” character, he or she will be required to send it back to the sender without revealing its contents.

Art. 34 The private investigator cannot request compensation or anything else from one of his colleagues or from a third party nor accept a fee for referring or recommending a client.

Art. 35 The private investigator cannot also pay anyone a fee or anything else in return for the introduction of a client.

Art. 36 The private investigator cannot take on an investigative or informative assignment if he is aware of the fact that the potential client is already professionally assisted by a colleague, unless the client (client) expressly relieves him of this obligation in the mandate or that the colleague communicates that he has given up on the service.

Art. 37 The private investigator, in the event that he replaces a colleague in an investigative or information service, must first notify the latter and have ensured that all the necessary provisions have been made for the regulation of expenses and compensation due to the replaced. This obligation does not, however, make the private investigator responsible for paying his predecessor’s compensation.

Art. 38 If urgent services must be carried out in the interest of the Customer, before the formalities provided for in the art. 37, the private investigator has the power-duty to do so on the condition that he immediately informs the colleague he has replaced.

License Pref. Modena Prot. 89/2017 area 1/L.P. Art. 134 TULPS Art. 38-222 Legislative Decree 271

Art. 39 The private investigator appointed to work alongside a colleague in a specific service must inform the latter. The rules of the aforementioned code of ethics are, once approved by the central management bodies, immediately operational towards the individual members of Federpol, who are required to strictly comply with them. In case of non-compliance with the provisions listed above, the members will be subjected to the disciplinary proceedings indicated below.

Disciplinary proceedings

Art. 40 The disciplinary measures that can be adopted against members in case of violation of the behavioral rules described in this code are: A) Written warning: which consists of a warning regarding the violation committed and the warning that this does not has more to repeat itself. B) Censorship: consisting of a formal declaration of the violation and the consequent blame. C) Suspension: i.e. inhibition, for a period of no less than two months and no more than one year from the status of associate with the relative inability to participate in social activities. D) Expulsion: consisting in the definitive loss of membership status and consequent cancellation from the membership register.

Art. 41 It is also possible to impose precautionary suspension, which constitutes a particular instrument with which the member is temporarily suspended from his role, in the event that he finds himself in the following conditions: 1) admitted to the hospital psychiatric or in a custody or care home. 2) subjected to the application of a non-custodial security measure referred to in art. 25 criminal code or to the provisional application of an additional penalty or a security measure.

Art. 42 Precautionary suspension may also be imposed in the event that the associated private investigator is subjected to special surveillance, or is the recipient of an arrest warrant or order. Art. 43 The written warning can be given when the associated private investigator, in violating one of the provisions of this code, demonstrates superficiality and negligence such, however, as not to cause damage to third parties (Client, colleague or so on).

Art. 44 The censure can be determined in the case of multiple violations included in the written warning that occurred over the course of two years, if of different types, or one year in the case of violations of the same type. Art. 45 Suspension, however, concerns behavior that violates the rules of this code resulting from activities maliciously aimed at causing unjust damage to others and/or bringing undue profit or benefit to oneself or others.

License Pref. Modena Prot. 89/2017 area 1/L.P. Art. 134 TULPS Art. 38-222 Legislative Decree 271

Art. 46 Expulsion may occur in cases in which the member, in addition to having carried out several acts deliberately and intentionally violating the provisions reported above, adopts behaviors in open conflict with the duties of the member or which in any case cause damage and prejudice to the image of Federpol; The member may also be expelled if, following abusive behaviour, his police license is revoked by the territorially competent Prefecture.

The administrative procedure

Art. 47 The competent body to decide on the application of the disciplinary sanctions of written warning and censure is the Council of the Region in which the private investigator subjected to disciplinary proceedings appears to carry out his activity; during the appeal, the Board of Provibiri located at the headquarters of the National Federation in Rome is competent to decide.

Art. 48 The competent body to decide on the application of the disciplinary sanctions of Suspension (including precautionary) and Expulsion is the Board of Provibiri located at the headquarters of the National Federation in Rome; at the time of appeal, only for cases of suspension, the matter may be referred to the National Council. Art. 49 Decisions taken and not appealed or confirmed during appeal are final. Art. 50 The disciplinary proceedings begin either ex officio or at the request of the interested party; as soon as it reaches the competent body (Regional Council or Board of Arbiters), it carries out a summary investigation on the facts to evaluate their validity and relevance, as well as its own competence to judge, informing at the same time, by registered letter with return receipt, the investigator interested. In the event of a conflict of jurisdiction between the Regional Councils or with the Board of Arbitrators, the decision lies with the National Council, to which the documents from the conflicting bodies are sent, which give notice to the interested party, who in the following 10 days can submit his observations for the purpose of deciding on the conflict.

Art. 51 The body referred to may: 1.- close the procedure if the information is found to be unfounded or irrelevant. The resignation of the complainant does not eliminate the disciplinary proceedings; 2.- carry out the investigation, acquiring, where produced, both the arguments put forward in justification by the interested party, and the information also from third parties on the disputed episode, hearing the member himself, in the event that he expressly requests it. Art. 52 At the end of the preliminary investigation phase, the body in question will issue the decision in the Council Chamber to: dismiss or apply the disciplinary sanction, also establishing the level of the relevant sanction.

License Pref. Modena Prot. 89/2017 area 1/L.P. Art. 134 TULPS Art. 38-222 Legislative Decree 271

Art. 53 Against the disciplinary sanction imposed, in cases where it is permitted, the interested party can appeal to the competent higher body, as provided for in the articles. 47 and 48 of this code, no later than 30 days from the date of communication of the sanction imposed.

Art. 54 The procedure provided for the decision on appeal is identical to that established for the first instance procedure.
Art. 55 Federpol, through its regional and national bodies, will communicate to the relevant Prefectures the disciplinary sanctions definitively imposed on its members, for any measures that they may wish to independently take against them.