THE ARGO CODE OF CONDUCT
THE VALUES AT THE HEART OF OUR PRIVATE DETECTIVE AGENCY
Reliance and moral integrity
Art. 1. The private investigator, in the exercise of their profession, must comply strictly with the normal rules of fairness, dignity, sensitivity and professionalism, and must maintain irreproachable conduct even outside their employment, as the sensitive task entrusted to them by the client means the investigator is not only performing acts of private interest, but also a key social function of public utility, alongside the Police, in situations allowed for by the law.
Art. 2. Of particular importance is the behaviour that the investigator must maintain towards the Client: their first duty is to inform the Client of all the rules concerning the investigation and any legal consequences deriving from the actions performed, with particular reference to the provisions laid down by Italian Law no. 675/1996.
Art. 3. The attitude the private investigator must take towards third parties, be they private individuals or public authorities, must involve criteria of maximum availability and general respect, within the limits provided by law. The investigator will be subject to monitoring by certain bodies and must therefore collaborate closely with them, providing all necessary clarifications on the conduct of their investigative activities, as well as offering their services on request for the further interventions to aid the purposes of justice.
Art. 4. The license holder and their collaborators, as previously identified to the competent Prefecture, must always perform their professional duties as scrupulously as possible, while always avoiding committing acts that restrict an individual’s freedom. The same, being held to strict confidentiality on information acquired in the course of investigations, must also ensure scrupulous observance of the provisions of Italian Law 675/1996 on protection of privacy.
Art. 5. In compliance with the law and professional ethics, the private investigator must represent and / or defend their client in such a way that the interest of the client prevails over its own, or the interests of its colleagues or third parties in general. If the private investigator does not believe they can fulfil the assignment, they must expressly relinquish the assignment.
Art. 6. A key duty of the investigator, particularly with regard to respecting the privacy laws noted in Art. 4, is to inform the client of the confidentiality of information gathered about the subject of the investigation, in cases where the investigator is exempted from informing the subject of being in possession of their personal data. The client must also be informed when there is an exemption from the requirement of consent for the processing of the data acquired.
Art. 7. Regardless of the correct and scrupulous observance of the provisions laid down by Italian Law no. 675/1996, the relationships that the private investigator must maintain with the news media must be based on respect and protection of the confidentiality of information acquired through their position. In rare cases where it is not necessary to comply with the duty of secrecy and confidentiality, the private investigator must nevertheless consider very carefully the consequences that may result from divulging information to the media, by issuing balanced statements that must never be damaging to the dignity of another professional colleague or the profession in general.
Art. 8. Any form of commercial advertising is free, and the private investigator can take any action deemed appropriate to advertise their business. They are not allowed to promulgate any form of misleading advertising, or advertising of professional services that do not fall under the police-issued license issued to a private investigator, or any forms of misleading advertising that may induce customers to believe services are offered that cannot legitimately be carried out by the license holder. Any violation will be prosecuted in a civil or criminal court, and through disciplinary action, as provided for in this code in the articles that follow.
Conferral and termination of office
Art. 9. The holder of the authorising license cannot delegate direction of investigative activities to others; if use is made of the work of colleagues, they must be given precise directions and operational guidelines for the proper conduct of investigations, and these colleagues cannot, under any circumstances, make decisions or take action without the consent of the private investigator.
Art. 10. The private investigator may use the work of a colleague to carry out particularly complex tasks upon notice to the client who must give their consent, including in relation to payments for the services performed by said colleague.
Art. 11. The investigator, before accepting a professional assignment, must carefully assess whether there is any incompatibility with other services previously assumed. In particular, they should check whether there are conflicts of interests between their various Clients and, if necessary, relinquish up one of their assignments.
Art. 12. Given the nature of the freelance worker, the private investigator must maintain a position of impartiality and independence even when they belong to organizations or associations with political and / or partisan ties. The private investigator cannot, therefore, be influenced in the performance of their business, nor alter the result of their work in order to favour an organization or association to which they belong.
Art. 13. The private investigator is required to obtain an explicit mandate from the Client, taking especially into account the provisions of Italian Law n. 675/1996, and must resign their assignment if the mandate is contrary to law or regulations, or would entail the performance of services expressly prohibited by applicable laws, or that could even hinder the normal course of criminal investigations.
Art. 14. The private investigator cannot accept an assignment from a new client if the confidentiality of information provided by a former client is likely to be violated, or when knowledge on the part of the investigator of the former client’s business would benefit the new client.
Art. 15. The rules above are equally applicable when exercising the profession as part of a company that would be susceptible to creating conflicts of interest as set out in Articles 12, 13 and 14. Art. 16 The private investigator cannot use, for any reason, the information acquired through their office, in order to obtain benefit directly or indirectly, either for themselves, or another party. Their position must always be based on the highest levels of fairness and professionalism, especially when the nature of the information in their possession is particularly sensitive.
Determination of compensation
Professional Liability Insurance
Art. It is not mandatory, but definitely desirable, for the private investigator, to offer a guarantee of their services beyond the deposit paid to the competent Prefecture at the time of issue of the police license, and for them to take out the appropriate insurance for their professional liability (within reasonable limits), given the nature and extent of the risks taken in the course of their activities.
Relations with the Prefecture and the local police department
Art. 24. The private investigator must perform the activities for which they have obtained the express consent of the police, who must provide annual renewal of said consent in accordance with the directives given to them by the competent territorial Prefecture, as well as the applicable laws in force.
Art. 25. The private investigator, who is a licensee pursuant to Art. 134 of the Italian Consolidated Law on Public Security (‘T.U.L.P.S.’) approved by Royal Decree n. 773/1931, is required to personally direct the activities. They are responsible for third parties and government employees under their control, and cannot in any way delegate these tasks to others.
Art. 26. The private investigator is required to maintain a log of daily activities, the keeping of which is mandatory under Article 135 of the Italian Consolidated Law on Public Security Article, and related Regulations, as previously endorsed by the responsible police authorities: A) The name, date and place of birth of persons for whom the business or operations are performed. B) The date and the types of same; the fee agreed, and the outcome of the operation. C) The details of the ID document, or other document of equivalent value.
Art. 27. It is a duty of the investigator to attend to their work in compliance with the Italian Public Safety Authority, to whom they must submit a request, while also abiding with all instances of those regulations aimed at controlling the private investigator’s activities.
Art. 28. The private investigator must, before hiring staff for collaboration in the exercise of their profession, inform the territory’s Prefecture of the individuals’ names, which will be recorded.
Art. 29. The ‘Questore’ (Chief of Police) is institutionally responsible for operational control over the proper operation of the private investigator, who is obliged to give their full cooperation in case of requests and inspections.
Relationships between Private Investigators
Art. 30. The spirit of fellowship requires a relationship of trust between private investigators in the interest of their clients. They must never put the interests of private investigators against those of justice, especially when performing investigative work for criminal defence.
Art. 31. The private investigator will recognise as colleagues all investigators who have obtained the required police authorisation issued by the competent Prefecture.
Art. 32. Given the highly sensitive nature of the private investigator’s activities, all communication among colleagues should be considered confidential. This means that the private investigator does not divulge the information to third parties and does not transmit a copy of the correspondence itself to their Client. When such communications are in writing, they must in any case be marked “confidential”.
Art. 33. If the recipient is unable to treat the correspondence as “confidential”, they are required to return it to the sender without revealing the contents.
Art. 34. The private investigator cannot demand a fee or similar from a colleague or third party, nor must they accept a fee for sending or recommending a client.
Art. 35. The private investigator also cannot pay compensation to anyone or other entity in return for the presentation of a client.
Art. 36. The private investigator cannot take up an investigative or information-gathering position if they know that the prospective client is already being professionally handled by a colleague, unless the client does expressly releases them from that requirement in the mandate, or the said colleague informs the investigator of having given up the commission.
Art. 37. If the private investigator is replacing a colleague for an investigative or information-gathering service, they must first give notice to the original investigator and ensure that all the necessary arrangements for the settlement of costs and fees due to the replaced investigator are in place. This obligation does not, however, make the private investigator responsible for the payment of compensation to their predecessor.
Art. 38. If the Client requires urgent services, the investigator has the power and duty required to perform the formalities as described in Art. 37, on condition of immediately informing the colleague they are replacing.
Art. 39. The private investigator appointed to join forces with a colleague in a given service must inform them of this.
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Licenza Investigativa Protocollo Nr. 46633/Area | TER O.S.P. Rilasciata dalla Prefettura di Roma
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