The Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) has published a charter (available only in French or Dutch) on its Inspection Service (the investigating body of the DPA). The document gives information on the process of an inspection and, more globally, on how this Service works.
What is interesting is the reminder of the powers and obligations of inspectors. The charter recalls that their significant powers (obtaining information, hearing of individuals, access to premises, power of seizure, etc.) are not absolute and cannot be exercised without respecting key principles. These are included in obligations listed in the charter (use a legitimation card, confidentiality of the investigation, independence, prohibition to use a false identity) and in three principles of good conduct: (1) respect the proportionality and the necessity, (2) behave in a professional, neutral and courteous manner, and (3) act with diligence.
By Edouard Cruysmans and Erik Valgaeren