The Sunday Star-Times understands that the New Zealand Institute of Professional Investigators will launch an inquiry into Wayne Idour and Lew Proctor on the grounds they broke the code of ethics by bragging about evidence on the prime minister they did not have.
Earlier this month Proctor told the Star-Times he was waiting on explosive information he believed could bring down Clark and the government, later likening it to "TNT times five million".
Idour, who was subcontracted by Proctor, claimed the information involved overspending and cover-ups and that Labour MPs had offered hush money to keep details under wraps.
They then backed away from the statements and have provided no further information. Proctor said what was done with the information was up to the Brethren members who employed him.
Clark dismissed the private investigators' claims as bizarre and an "extraordinary, unfortunate, regrettable development in New Zealand life".
"I consider it a new low in political life to have political opponents paying to have me, my spouse, other Labour ministers followed in this way," she said.
The revelation that the Exclusive Brethren, who met National leader Don Brash before last year's election and distributed anti-Labour and anti-Green party pamphlets, had hired private investigators came during an unusual period of political mud slinging.
Investigate magazine ran a photo taken on election night of Clark's husband Peter Davis hugging a so-called mystery man. He was Auckland GP Dr Ian Scott who promptly scotched suggestions Davis was gay in a Star-Times article.
The previous week Brash had been outed for having an affair with Business Roundtable deputy chair Diane Foreman and pundits wrote that politics was heading down a slippery slope.
The committee investigating Idour and Proctor is understood to be chaired by Wellington private investigator Trevor Morley, though he refused to comment.
Idour and Proctor are members of the institute and bound by its code of ethics, which state that they shall undertake their work with "the highest moral principles and with truthfulness and integrity".
They must also "at all times take every care to ensure the professional reputation of the institute, our members and principals are not compromised" and are required to account for themselves before the ethics committee if called upon. The committee can issue a censure, suspension or kick them out of the institute.
Idour said he knew nothing about the ethics committee investigation and Proctor did not return calls.
Prime Minister Helen Clark said the institute was entitled to take steps to safeguard the standards of its ethical members and "we look forward to seeing the outcome" of the hearing.