Judgment No. 320
1. The decision of the Director-General of 3 June 1976 is quashed; and
2. It is ordered:
(a) that the complainant be reinstated in his appointment as Senior Secretary/Administrative Assistant as from 1976,
(b) in respect of the loss of his salary and emoluments from their cessation in 1976 until the date of his reinstatement he shall be paid such compensation as may be just, having regard inter alia to the earnings and emoluments, if any, from any other source, which accrued to him during this period, and
(c) that costs amounting to 1,000 United States dollars be awarded against the Organization.
"A decision taken by the Director-General, either during or at the end of the probation period, not to confirm the staff member's appointment is one which falls within his discretion and accordingly the Tribunal will interfere with it only on strictly limited grounds [...]."
probationary period; judicial review; discretion
The Tribunal "does not invariably order [...] reinstatement [...] since it may present practical difficulties. In the present case [...] the complainant's long and excellent record of service to the [organization], enhanced by his conduct in [...] trying circumstances [...] and by the clarity and moderation of his submission to the Tribunal [...] have shown him to be an officer whom the organization should be sorry to lose."
probationary period; reinstatement; termination of employment; consequence
Considerations 12, 13 and 17
The complainant was denied confirmation of his appointment for unsatisfactory service. The Regional Director had nothing to say on the matter. Had he examined the evidence, he would have observed that the performance appraisals were of questionable value. Neither the evaluations of the complainant's first level supervisor (which diverged inexplicably from earlier reports), nor those of the chief of department (which merely echoed the supervisor's views) afforded a basis for the decision. As a result the Director General's decision must be quashed.
work appraisal; different appraisals; satisfactory service; probationary period; probation report; reinstatement; termination of employment; unsatisfactory service; flaw
"In principle a complainant whose complaint is allowed in whole or in part is entitled to costs, to be paid by the defendant organisation. There is no need for the complainant to have put in an express claim for such costs. Nor is it material whether he has been assisted or represented by counsel. However, costs are payable only to the extent warranted by the circumstances of the case, that is to say its nature, importance and complexity and the actual contribution made by the complainant or his counsel to the proceedings"
costs; amount; consequence; criteria
"The starting point for any criticism of [the first level supervisor's] judgment is that he is unable to explain the discrepancy between it and all the complainant's previous appraisal reports except upon the hypothesis that the latter were all wrong. This is highly unlikely. They extended over eleven years and came from seven [...] different representatives. [...] His evaluation of the complainant's work cannot be regarded as unbiased."
work appraisal; different appraisals; period; supervisor; flaw; bias
"In reaching the decision that the complainant's performance was unsatisfactory, the Director-General and/or the officials whose conclusions he accepted, relied exclusively on the opinion of [the first level supervisor]. They disregarded the factors that made this opinion unreliable. [...] They disregarded the fact that the conditions under which the complainant was working were not in accordance with his post description." Lastly, they drew false conclusions from the first level supervisor's report. The decision of the Director-General must therefore be set aside.
post description; probationary period; probation report; termination of employment; unsatisfactory service; mistaken conclusion