What should you expect in an investigative report? Since the information in a report is only as strong as your ability to use it, it is in your best interest to know specifically what a good investigative report should look like. All of our reports are based on the same structure that our clients have come to know and trust.
If background investigations were easy, no one would need to do them. If you could simply ask a job applicant, “Did you really earn a Master’s degree from Harvard?” or the subject of a personal injury suit, “Did you really sustain the injuries you claim?” you would have no need for a professional investigation or a report. But people don’t always tell the truth, and facts can be difficult to prove or hard to communicate.
At UCMJ Investigations we search so you don’t have to. We are seasoned professionals who know where to find the information you need, how to verify our findings and the best way to present it to you for immediate use. With our background of over 47 years of service to the government and the private sector, we have honed our approach to a system that works consistently for our clients and their clients.
The following are the elements of a quality investigation report although other elements may be added depending on the case or the customer’s preferences.
• Case Identifier, followed by Background and Scope are used to identify the SUBJECT of the investigation, the CLIENT who requested the investigation, and why. For example, “Attorney John Jones requested that we conduct a background records check on SUBJECT to verify his experience, job performance and educational background”.
- Proof Elements / Expectations outlines what is to be determined and how proof is to be presented. Our reports provide details of the findings of our investigations, but we also include (if desired by the client) a detailed interpretation of the information and how it relates to the investigation. For example, “Determine if SUBJECT was awarded a Master’s degree in Business Communications from the School of Business at North Carolina State University. Report all findings to Client.”
- Parties Involved include all available personally identifying information for every person questioned during the investigation. For example, “Daniel Smith North Carolina State University, Office of Records, 1000 Harris Hall, Raleigh, NC, phone 919-515-2572”.
- Examinations conducted is a list of the different types of sources used during the investigation. For example, “database records”, “public records”, or “telephonic interviews”.
- The conclusion is the bottom-line finding of the investigation. For example, “North Carolina State University claimed to have no record of SUBJECT ever being enrolled in their University. No other record was discovered of SUBJECT attending North Carolina State University.”
- Findings and Facts is a presentation of the facts uncovered during the investigation. We don’t include details just for the sake of filling up space. If it’s relevant, we include it. We have written reports as short as 2 pages and as long as 374 pages.
- For example, “The following addresses were reported to be associated with SMITH:6 Haley Court, Little Rock, AR 72212 and 52 Gettysburg North, Cabot, AR 72023. On Monday, May 17, 2020, Investigator JONES spoke telephonically with JOHNSON at the records division of North Carolina State University. JOHNSON searched the name Richard Michael SMITH in the school’s database and reportedly could find no record of anyone by that name ever being enrolled at North Carolina State University or graduating from the institution”.
- Recommendations. Recommendations include areas that might not have been included in the scope of the initial investigation, but because of newly discovered information may need to be clarified. For example, “We recommend the initiation of a full background investigation into the educational and professional history of SUBJECT. It is possible for information contained in existing records to be wrong or underreported, therefore the need exists for a full inquiry to clarify any issues raised in this limited scope report and to clear any question about the background of SUBJECT”.
- Status notes the current status of the investigation. For example, “Pending” or “Referred to Client”, or “Closed”
- Attachments indicate whether or not the report includes any attachments and what those attachments are and how they relate to the case. For example, our surveillance reports include snapshots of videos that have been taken during the surveillance or printouts of the still photography obtained, along with the explanations of the activity the person was involved in at the time.
If your reports don’t contain this information then your investigator is not doing his/her job properly.
UCMJ Investigations has earned a reputation for superior investigating and that shows in our reports. Our concise, detailed and well-written reports make it easier for our clients to do their jobs well. We will make it easier for you too.
** If you have a case and are not sure if an investigator can help or contribute to your case, contact us for a free review. **