Judgment No. 3041
1. WHO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 20,000 United States dollars.
2. It shall also pay her costs in the amount of 5,000 dollars.
3. The complaint is otherwise dismissed.
Abolition of post and termination of appointment following reorganisation / Failure on the part of the Organization to take a final decision on the complainant's appeal / Excessive delay in communicating to the complainant the outcome of the internal appeal procedure.
"The decision to abolish a post must be communicated to the staff person occupying the post in a manner that safeguards that individual's rights. These rights are safeguarded by giving proper notice of the decision, reasons for the decision and an opportunity to contest the decision. As well, subsequent to the decision there must be proper institutional support mechanisms in place to assist the staff member concerned in finding a new assignment."
decision; duty to substantiate decision; complainant; right of appeal; organisation's duties; duty to inform; staff member's interest; abolition of post; reassignment; right; safeguard; duty of care
"The Tribunal observes that there can be no justification for the delay and the failure to give the complainant a final decision. The fact that the [internal appeal body's] recommendations left the Administration in a difficult position does not excuse the unreasonable delay or absolve the Director-General from fulfilling her obligation to give a final decision in accordance with the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules. The Tribunal finds it particularly egregious that the failure to give a decision also resulted in the complainant not knowing the outcome of the [internal appeal] process. In addition to leaving the complainant in an unfair position in terms of any negotiations or other attempts to resolve the dispute, the complainant was deprived of the opportunity to consider the findings and recommendations contained in the [internal appeal body's] report before filing a complaint with the Tribunal. It appears that [the Organization's] conduct undermined the integrity of the internal appeal process and was a blatant disregard of the complainant's rights."
absence of final decision; complainant; internal appeals body; internal appeal; recommendation; delay; organisation's duties; duty to inform; staff member's interest; staff regulations and rules; right; duty of care
As the Tribunal stated in Judgment 2124, under 4, “the need to give reasons in support of adverse administrative decisions arises precisely because the affected staff member must be given an opportunity of knowing and evaluating whether or not the decision should be timely contested”.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2124