UNV Advisory Panel on Disciplinary Measures (APDM)

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1 UNV Advisory Panel on Disciplinary Measures (APDM) ANNUAL REPORT 2012 This document refers to cases closed in 2012 related to UN Volunteers 1

2 The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity. UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme 2

3 CONTENTS OVERVIEW... 4 DESCRIPTION OF CASES CASES THAT RESULTED IN THE IMPOSITION OF A DISCIPLINARY MEASURE CASES THAT DID NOT RESULT IN THE IMPOSITION OF A DISCIPLINARY MEASURE 7 STATISTICS

4 OVERVIEW This report provides a summary of the activities carried out by the UNV Advisory Panel on Disciplinary Measures (APDM) during The mandate of the APDM is to advise the Executive Coordinator (EC) on disciplinary matters involving UN Volunteers. The main functions are to provide an objective review of independently investigated allegations of misconduct involving UN Volunteers, and recommend to the EC appropriate disciplinary measures or exoneration of UN Volunteers from allegations of misconduct. The APDM further renders in-house advice, at the request of EC and senior managers, concerning practical or theoretical questions with potential disciplinary implications. This report covers cases resulting in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions, and statistics on cases where UN Volunteers were exonerated. UN Volunteers are not staff members of the United Nations, and are not subject to the disciplinary process provided in the UN Staff Regulations and Rules. Nevertheless, they are subject to disciplinary procedures under their own Conditions of Service. Disciplinary proceedings within the UNV programme are strictly administrative in nature as part of the internal justice system for UN Volunteers. What is required is the identification of sufficient facts to permit a reasonable inference that a violation of the relevant Conditions of Service, including the Code of Conduct for UN Volunteers, has occurred. Throughout such proceedings, UN Volunteers have the right to due process. The disciplinary review is independent of managerial interference, and while UNV has no authority over host organizations/entities, they are expected to respect the nature and spirit of the UNV disciplinary process. In cases where criminal charges are made against a UN Volunteer, UNDP, by which UNV is administered, will send the summons to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the host country so it can assert the privileges and immunities on behalf of UNDP. The assistance of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs may be sought as necessary. UNV does not conduct investigations on its own. Where the allegations concern UN Volunteers assigned to UNV or UNDP offices or projects, investigations are carried out by the UNDP Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI). For UN Volunteers assigned to other UN entities, investigations are conducted by OIOS or the investigative arm of the relevant agency to whose project or programme the UN Volunteers in question are assigned. There have been cases where exoneration has been recommended by the APDM and decided by the UNV Executive Coordinator because they did not consider that sufficient facts were established for the alleged misconduct in spite of an investigation having been carried out. In 2012, in recognition of the workload entailed in the function of the Secretary to the APDM, it was decided to incorporate this function into the regular functions of one of the posts in the Quality Assurance Unit. The average annual number of disciplinary cases during the last five years was 13 cases of which on average 9 resulted in the imposition of a disciplinary sanction. The number of cases leading to disciplinary measures and to exonerations is reflected in the table below which also includes the percentage of serving UN Volunteers receiving disciplinary sanctions. 4

5 Table 1: Number of disciplinary sanctions, exonerations and percentage of serving volunteers by year Year No. of disciplinary sanctions No. of exonerations Percentage of serving volunteers found guilty of misconduct In 2012, fifteen cases were brought to closure by the APDM: five UN Volunteers were exonerated and their cases closed without the imposition of disciplinary sanctions; one UN Volunteer received a letter of censure, five UN Volunteers received the sanction of early separation and four UN Volunteers were summarily dismissed due to serious misconduct. The latter cases concerned assault, sexual exploitation and abuse, behaviour unbecoming of a UN Volunteer, and causing fatal accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol. The cases were addressed to the APDM for its review and recommendation to the UNV Executive Coordinator who makes the decision regarding any imposition of disciplinary sanctions. More details on the cases can be found in the next section Description of cases. The number of cases should be seen in the light of a total number of 6807serving UN Volunteers who during 2012 carried out 6912 assignments. The 10 cases resulting in disciplinary sanctions involved 10 male UN Volunteers. The statistics section includes a description of the cases for 2011 and 2012 by type of misconduct, sanction and gender. In two cases the concerned UN Volunteers appealed the Executive Coordinator s decision to the UNDP Administrator who in both cases decided to uphold the Executive Coordinator s decision. The APDM met fourteen times in 2012 to review the above mentioned cases. In line with the process instituted in 2011, the disciplinary process continued to benefit from an initial qualityoriented review of all incoming investigation reports by the UNV Associate Legal Specialist. Likewise (in line with the practice of other UN entities), UNV continued to refer investigation reports received from non-un entities, such as insurance companies, to the investigative arms of the respective host agency for review and advice. During 2012, three such reports were referred to host agency investigation arms whose reaction was still expected, Finally, the APDM conducted sessions on the management of disciplinary cases to the UNV Field Unit Induction workshops, to brief participants on the management of disciplinary cases and clarify their own role in the process. In line with UNV s renewed emphasis on ensuring all UN Volunteers are adequately briefed on conduct and discipline issues, over the coming period, the Panel will look into ways of strengthening its work aiming to ensure that all concerned are better aware of conduct issues as well as management of disciplinary cases. 5

6 DESCRIPTION OF CASES 1. CASES THAT RESULTED IN THE IMPOSITION OF A DISCIPLINARY MEASURE 1.1. Assault Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN agency assaulted a staff member of a UN agency with a beer bottle which resulted in injuries Sanction: Summary dismissal 1.2. Sexual exploitation and abuse Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission physically assaulted another person. Sanction: Summary dismissal 1.3. Fatal Traffic Accidents Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission drove under the influence of alcohol and caused a fatal accident. The UN Volunteer did not adjust his speed to the poor road conditions and exceeded the speed limit for the area. Sanction: Summary dismissal Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission drove under the influence of alcohol, and caused a fatal accident. The accident led to the death of a motorcyclist caused by the accident with the UN Volunteer s vehicle. Considering the circumstances of the accident (unlit junction, the motorcyclist travelling at high speed without lights on), it was concluded that the misconduct did not rise to summary dismissal. Sanction: Early separation 1.4 Fraud Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission substantially misrepresented information with fraudulent intent. Sanction: Early Separation 1.5 Behaviour unbecoming of a UN Volunteer Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission drove under the influence of alcohol, aroused public trouble, insulted national police officers, UNPOL, and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) members. Sanction: Summary dismissal 1.6 Gross negligence Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission left his assigned vehicle with the key and an unauthorised passenger inside. A car accident ensued which led to damage to the UN Vehicle and injuries to the un-authorised passenger. Sanction: Letter of censure 6

7 1.7 Driving under the influence of alcohol Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission was driving under the influence of alcohol and driving a vehicle without authorisation during the restricted hours Sanction: Early separation Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission drove under the influence of alcohol. Sanction: Early separation 1.8 Concealing evidence from an investigation Detail case: An international UN Volunteer serving with a UN Mission caused an accident which resulted in the injury of one of the passenger and death of another passenger. While reckless driving was not established, it was concluded that the UN Volunteer was transporting unauthorized passengers and deliberately concealed evidence from the investigators. Sanction: Early separation 2. CASES THAT DID NOT RESULT IN THE IMPOSITION OF A DISCIPLINARY MEASURE Five cases presented to the APDM resulted in exoneration. The five cases concerned UN Volunteers serving in UN missions against whom allegations were raised of the following: Carelessness/negligence in the execution of official duties Assault Theft, Sexual exploitation and abuse (two cases). 7

8 STATISTICS I. Disciplinary cases by type of misconduct ( ) Fraud 3 0 Assault 3 1 SEA 1 1 Theft 1 0 Harassment 1 0 Causing an accident 1 3 Driving under the influence of alcohol 0 1 unbecoming behaviour 0 1 Negligence in execution of duties 0 1 Gross negligence by leaving the car unattended 0 1 Concealing evidence from an investigation 0 1 Total

9 II. Disciplinary cases by sanction ( ) Letter of Censure Early Separation Summary Dismissal

10 II. Disciplinary sanctions by gender ( ) Female Male Total

11 11

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