Judgment No. 2884
1. The EPO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 10,000 euros.
2. It shall also pay her costs in the amount of 1,000 euros.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
Considerations 13 and 16-18
"The complainant submits that the selection procedure was flawed. The failure to indicate in the vacancy notice that there would be an individual assessment performed by a consulting firm and the failure to include the particular management skills that would be assessed by the firm constitute, in her view, a violation of Articles 2 and 5 of Annex II to the Service Regulations. She adds that it follows from the flaws in the notice that there was a lack of information concerning the kinds of tests the competition would be based on, as required by Annex II."
"The Tribunal considers that the Internal Appeals Committee erred in law in finding that the failure to indicate that an individual assessment would be performed by a third party in the vacancy notice did not constitute a breach of the applicable Service Regulations. In essence, the Committee found that, in view of the nature of the position being filled, the complainant's seniority and the widespread use being made of assessment centres, the complainant would have known that an assessment in such circumstances formed part of the selection procedure. The fundamental flaw in this reasoning is that these are irrelevant considerations in relation to the legal question as to whether the Service Regulations require the use of an assessment centre to be included in a vacancy notice."
"Article 2 of Annex II to the Service Regulations requires that a notice of competition must specify, among other things, "the kind of competition (whether on the basis of either qualifications or tests, or of both qualifications and tests)" and "where the competition is on the basis of tests, what kind they will be and how they will be marked"."
"As the individual assessment performed by the consulting firm was, at least in part, a testing mechanism, the failure to mention it in the vacancy notice constitutes a breach of Article 2 of Annex II."
organisation's duties; staff regulations and rules; breach; competition; vacancy notice; flaw
"As the Internal Appeals Committee erred in law in finding that it was not necessary to include the use of an assessment centre in the vacancy notice, it follows that the President's decision endorsing this view involves an error of law. This error would ordinarily result in the impugned decision and the underlying selection procedure being set aside. However, having regard to the circumstances and the complainant's failure to demonstrate any link between the breach of the Service Regulations and the outcome of the process, the decision and the process will not be set aside. This should not be construed in any way as condoning the conduct of the EPO. In accordance with its power under Article VIII of the Statute, the Tribunal decides that the complainant is entitled to moral damages in the amount of 10,000 euros for the breach of the Service Regulations of the Office."
ILOAT reference: Article VIII of the Statute
moral injury; staff regulations and rules; breach; competition; competition cancelled; discretion; flaw