Judgment No. 271
(i) quashes the decision of the Director-General of 25 January 1975;
(ii) declares that the complainant should be reimbursed in full for the expenses of her journey to and from her home in Colombia in February 1972 and orders the Organization to pay the balance outstanding with interest thereon at 8 per cent per annum to run from 25 January 1975 until the date of payment;
(iii) orders the Organization to pay to the complainant 2,500 Swiss francs for legal expenses; and
(iv) orders that the claims of the interveners be remitted to the Director-General for him to determine what sums, if any, are in the light of this judgment due to them in respect of home leave entitlement, and with liberty to the interveners, if they do not accept such determination, to apply to the Tribunal, giving full particulars of the sums claimed and of the facts relied on in support of the claim.
The organization contends that when reimbursing travel expenses for home leave account must be taken of costs. "These [...] are questions of policy to be solved before the regulation is framed so that the solution can be embodied in the regulation itself. Once framed, the regulation is conclusive on questions of broad principle and personnel policy. [The Director-General's discretionary authority] to apply it only when he is satisfied that the organization is getting its money's worth cannot be derived from its terms."
amount; staff regulations and rules; enforcement; provision; travel expenses; home leave; refund; discretion; limits; organisation's interest; purpose
The partial payment of travel expenses would be contrary to the language of the applicable text and inconsistent with the principle of the regulation. "It is agreed that the object of the regulation is not primarily to make a monetary concession to a staff member. It is to the advantage of the organization [...] that staff members should maintain their links with their home countries [...] If the organization pays for only a part of the journey, the principle of home leave will depend on the willingness and ability of the staff member to pay for the rest himself."
amount; travel expenses; home leave; rate; refund; organisation's interest; purpose
"A rule which applies only to the longer journeys may result in links with the more distant countries being lost. Moreover, if the Director-General has power to rule that only a proportion of the cost of the whole journey need be paid, there can be no reason why he should not in all cases fix the proportion at whatever percentage he thinks the organization can afford." [The Tribunal has established that reasonable expenses should be paid for the whole journey.]
amount; travel expenses; home leave; rate; refund; consequence
"The words [in the material provision] are an abbreviated way of saying that the organization shall pay the reasonable expenses of the journey to and from the home. This means the reasonable expenses for the whole journey and not just a part of it. The Director-General may settle the details of the way in which the regulation is to be applied - he may, for example, rule that reasonable expenses do not cover first-class travel or an indirect route - but he may not alter the sense of it."
amount; organisation's duties; staff regulations and rules; interpretation; provision; travel expenses; home leave; rate; refund; purpose
"[I]t is permissible for the Director-General to determine that staff members whose home is in the country of their duty station are not eligible, since the visit would not then serve the purpose of maintaining international links. But once it is accepted that, as the Tribunal has held, on its proper construction the regulation provides that eligible members shall be paid the whole cost, it is not permissible for the Director-General to say that in certain circumstances only those members will be eligible who are prepared to pay part of the cost themselves."
amount; dependant; home leave; rate; refund; discretion; limits; condition