Early Intervention is a voluntary, joint process to resolve issues related to an appointment process. The persons affected, namely the person who raised the issue and the person responding to it, agree to have a facilitator to guide them to a mutually acceptable resolution. Early Intervention may be offered at various phases of the investigation. To that effect, an investigator of the Public Service Commission (PSC) will act as the facilitator.
The PSC decides whether to offer Early Intervention and it is only offered in specific cases. For example, Early Intervention is not offered when an investigation is warranted for fraud, political influence, or improper conduct.
The Early Intervention session
The facilitator schedules a date for the Early Intervention session. Persons affected may be accompanied or represented by a person of their choice.
Normally, Early Intervention is conducted through a “face-to-face” meeting where the facilitator meets all persons affected at the same time. However, a “Shuttle Early Intervention” may be necessary in some circumstances. The principles and objectives of a “Shuttle Early Intervention” are the same as those in the “face-to-face” approach. The difference is that the facilitator goes back and forth between the persons affected, exchanging information and ideas for possible solutions.
The following is a brief description of the main elements of an Early Intervention session:
- the persons affected present their perspective on each issue to help the facilitator understand the issues and to clarify the problem to be solved
- the facilitator ensures that individual issues are prioritized and dealt with systematically
- a person affected may ask for a private and confidential meeting with the facilitator at any time during the session to discuss matters that may help in working toward a solution
- more than one Early Intervention session may be required; further, if a resolution is not reached at the initial session, the persons affected may authorize the facilitator to do follow-up work such as information-gathering, exchange between the persons or meetings by telephone
- following a successful Early Intervention session, the facilitator may draw up a draft Memorandum of Agreement for the consideration and eventual signature of the persons affected
The benefits of Early Intervention
- Early Intervention is an efficient way to resolve issues to the satisfaction of both parties
- Early Intervention is voluntary; nothing happens during Early Intervention without the persons affected person's consent
- Each person affected may withdraw from the Early Intervention at any time; the facilitator may also end the Early Intervention if, for example, it appears that no resolution is possible
- With the assistance of the facilitator, the persons affected come up with solutions that may meet their mutual needs and interests
- Early Intervention allows for creative solutions; often, persons affected come away from the Early Intervention process with benefits that would not have been possible if an investigation had been used to resolve the issue
- All communications in Early Intervention are confidential; the persons affected control what they want the facilitator to know; the expectation is that the persons affected will be open and forthcoming with information and ideas for resolution
- Early Intervention creates an environment conducive to discussion
When Early Intervention is not successful
When Early Intervention is not successful, the investigation will proceed. To this end, an investigator other than the facilitator is assigned to conduct the investigation. Information obtained in the course of the Early Intervention will not be communicated to the investigator responsible for the investigation, as the Early Intervention process is confidential.
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