Judgment No. 4462
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the Director-General’s decision of 2 May 2019 not to modify his performance evaluation report for 2017 and not to renew his fixed-term contract.
work appraisal; rating; non-renewal of contract; performance evaluation; complaint dismissed
The complainant requests oral proceedings. The Tribunal notes, however, that the parties have presented sufficiently extensive and detailed submissions and documents to allow the Tribunal to be properly informed of their arguments and the evidence. Accordingly, the application for oral proceedings is rejected.
[T]he Tribunal recalls its case law in this area: “The principles governing the Tribunal’s consideration of challenges to staff performance appraisal reports are well settled. Indeed, they are discussed in Judgment 3378, consideration 6. The Tribunal recognises that such reports are discretionary and will set aside or amend a report only if there is a formal or procedural flaw, a mistake of fact or law, or neglect of some material fact, or misuse of authority, or an obviously wrong inference drawn from the evidence” (see Judgment 3842, consideration 7). The Tribunal has also held that as a rule “he who approves [a staff member’s appraisal report] will grant the reporting officer great freedom of expression. The official’s observations on the report may in some cases serve to correct any error of judgment that may have been made. It will be right not to approve a report only if the reporting officer made an obvious mistake over some important point, if he neglected some essential fact, if he was grossly inconsistent or can be shown to have been prejudiced. And he need not be deemed prejudiced just because his assessment for one period is not the same as another reporting officer’s opinion of the same official for an earlier or later period” (see Judgment 724, consideration 3; see also Judgment 2318, consideration 4).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 724, 2318, 3842
rating; discretion; performance evaluation; role of the tribunal
[T]he Tribunal reiterates that, under its case law, an employee who is in the service of an international organisation on a fixed-term contract does not have a right to the renewal of the contract when it expires (see, for example, Judgment 3444, consideration 3). It is likewise well settled in the Tribunal’s case law that “an organisation has a wide discretion in deciding whether to renew a fixed-term appointment and its right to refuse to renew can be based on unsatisfactory performance”. It follows that “such a discretionary decision can be successfully impugned [only] if it is fatally flawed by, for example, procedural defects, a failure to take account of some essential fact, abuse or misuse of authority, or if it was based on an error of fact or of law” (see Judgments 1262, consideration 4, 3586, consideration 6, 3679, consideration 10, 3743, consideration 2, and 3932, consideration 21).
The Tribunal has also consistently held that “an organisation cannot base an adverse decision on a staff member’s unsatisfactory performance if it has not complied with the rules established to evaluate that performance” (see Judgment 3252, consideration 8, and the case law cited therein, Judgment 3932, consideration 21, and the case law cited therein, and Judgment 4289, consideration 7).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1262, 3252, 3444, 3586, 3679, 3743, 3932, 3932, 4289
fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; unsatisfactory service; discretion; role of the tribunal