Judgment No. 3953
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant impugns the decision to impose upon her the disciplinary measure of downgrading and to recover from her undue payments through monthly deductions from her salary.
downgrading; disciplinary measure; complaint dismissed
The complainant filled out and signed the “Declaration concerning rent allowance” on 7 March 2005, thereby assuming the obligations arising from Article 74 of the Service Regulations. The consequent obligation to notify the Office of any changes aimed at guaranteeing the proper use of the rent allowance. Furthermore, with respect to Apt. A, the complainant alleges that in a similar case the EPO acted differently. However, the objection is unfounded. By failing to notify the EPO that the rent she was paying for Apt. A did not only relate to her as from April 2005, when her partner moved into the apartment, although she had certified on 7 March 2005 that she would notify “any changes” immediately, the complainant breached the rules governing the granting of the rent allowance, unjustly benefiting, and, hence, the principle of equality cannot be applied, as there can be no equality in illegality.
misrepresentation; duty to inform; staff member's duties
Regarding the question of the complainant’s health condition and the Disciplinary Committee’s failure to seek an expert medical opinion, the Tribunal notes that the Disciplinary Committee took account of the complainant’s state of health as a mitigating factor when deciding the proportionality of the recommended sanction.
mitigating circumstances; health reasons; disciplinary measure
Regarding the severity of the imposed sanction, the Tribunal recalls that, according to a long line of precedent the decision-making authority has discretion in determining the severity of a sanction to be applied to a staff member whose misconduct has been established. However, as stated in Judgment 3640, under 29 and 31, that discretion must be exercised in observance of the rule of law, particularly the principle of proportionality. In the present case, the complainant’s downgrading was not disproportionate to her misconduct. The complainant took financial advantage from the contested unlawful conduct with which she was charged and which was established. This is a serious breach of the duty of honesty incumbent on international civil servants and her state of health has no bearing on the merits of the impugned decision. In light of the above considerations, the complaint must be dismissed.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3640
proportionality; downgrading; disciplinary measure; fraud