Judgment No. 4252
1. The decisions of the Director-General of 26 June 2017 and 19 February 2015 are set aside.
2. The personal promotion exercise for 2011 is cancelled insofar as the complainant was excluded from it.
3. The Organization shall pay the complainant 10,000 Swiss francs in compensation under all heads.
The complainant, a former official of the ILO, challenges the decision not to award him a personal promotion in the 2011 exercise.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; personal promotion
Under the Tribunal’s case law, an organisation enjoys wide discretion with regard to staff promotion. For this reason, such decisions are subject to only limited review. However, the Tribunal must ascertain whether the decision was taken without authority, if it was based on an error of law or fact, a material fact was overlooked, or a plainly wrong conclusion was drawn from the facts, if it was taken in breach of a rule of form or procedure, or if there was an abuse of authority (see Judgments 2835, consideration 5, 3279, consideration 11, and 4066, consideration 3).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2835, 3279, 4066
personal promotion; discretion
In Judgment 3321, consideration 11, the Tribunal noted that it is the ILO’s practice “in the absence of a performance appraisal, to deem the services of the official in question to be satisfactory during the relevant year in order to ensure that this situation cannot adversely affect that person”. In this case, the complainant’s performance appraisal report for 2008-2009 was cancelled, and the Joint Panel was therefore wrong not to consider his performance as satisfactory in that period.
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3321
Considerations 5 & 7
Under Article 6.8.2, paragraph 2, of the Staff Regulations, there are two tracks to personal promotion[.]
[A]s paragraph 4(b) of IGDS No. 125 emphasises, [the second track] “is intended to reward length of service” and only requires that the official’s performance has been “satisfactory”.
For the purposes of the second track, satisfactory performance is, under Article 6.8.2, paragraph 3, of the Staff Regulations, appraised in the light of the official’s overall performance in the grade.
However, the Joint Panel’s report shows that it assessed the complainant’s performance only on the basis of his last 13 years of service. The Joint Panel thus committed an error of law. In this case, the complainant had been in his grade since 1988, thus for 23 years in 2011. His performance had been assessed as meritorious or even particularly meritorious up to 2005, that is, over a period of 17 years. As the JAAB correctly pointed out, his performance over the entire period was hence satisfactory overall.