Judgment No. 4564
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges his staff report for the 2008-2009 exercise.
rating; complaint dismissed
[T]he Tribunal observes that, in requesting that the Tribunal should itself determine the new ratings to be awarded under the various headings of the staff report concerned, the complainant plainly misunderstands the nature of the review with which the Tribunal is tasked. It is not for the Tribunal, whose role is not to supplant the administrative authorities of an international organisation, to conduct an assessment of an employee’s merits instead of the competent reporting officer or the various supervisors and appeals bodies which may be called upon to revise that assessment. Consequently, as it is framed, the request for the staff report concerned to be amended can only be dismissed (see, to that effect, Judgment 4258, considerations 2 and 3, and the case law cited therein).
The Tribunal may only set aside that staff report at the same time as the impugned decision and remit to the EPO the task of reviewing the assessment concerned in light of the grounds of its judgment, if it considers it necessary to make such an order within the limits of the restricted power of review which the Tribunal may exercise in this area [...].
ILOAT Judgment(s): 4258
rating; role of the tribunal
Considerations 3 and 8
As the Tribunal has repeatedly held, assessment of an employee’s merit during a specified period involves a value judgement; for this reason, the Tribunal must recognise the discretionary authority of the bodies responsible for conducting such an assessment. Of course, it must ascertain whether the ratings given to the employee have been determined in full conformity with the rules, but it cannot substitute its own opinion for the assessment made by these bodies of the qualities, performance and conduct of the person concerned. The Tribunal will therefore intervene only if the staff report was drawn up without authority or in breach of a rule of form or procedure, if it was based on an error of law or fact, if a material fact was overlooked, if a plainly wrong conclusion was drawn from the facts, or if there was abuse of authority. Regarding the rating of EPO employees, those criteria are the more stringent because the Office has a procedure for conciliation on staff reports and the Service Regulations entitle officials to appeal to a joint body whose members are directly familiar with the workings of the Office (see, for example, Judgments 1688, consideration 5, 3062, consideration 3, 3228, consideration 3, 3268, consideration 9, 3692, consideration 8, and 4258, consideration 2).
[T]he authors of the contested staff report cannot be said to have drawn clearly mistaken conclusions from the facts or failed to take account of a material fact – bearing in mind that, under the [...] case law, it is not for the Tribunal to further review the assessment of the complainant’s merits made by the authorities of the Office.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1688, 3062, 3228, 3268, 3692, 4258
rating; discretion; conciliation; role of the tribunal
The Tribunal [...] observes that a staff report, the purpose of which is to assess an employee’s merits over a given period and which is drawn up according to the rules governing the evaluation exercise for the period in question, is an entirely separate document from previous staff reports. Consequently, a staff member cannot reasonably expect that favourable ratings that may previously have been awarded to her or him will automatically be maintained (see, for example, [...] Judgment 1688, consideration 6).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1688
performance report; rating
[T]he complainant complains, [...] in respect of the documents appended to the surrejoinder, that the Organisation produced them at a stage in the proceedings when it was no longer possible for him to respond to them. However, while it is certainly regrettable that the Organisation acted in this manner when it would clearly have been possible for it to submit those documents when it filed its reply, the adversarial nature of the proceedings before the Tribunal was nonetheless respected, since the complainant was specifically authorised to present additional submissions in order to be able to make his observations thereon.
further material; surrejoinder; adversarial proceedings