As part of UNDP’s strategy to strengthen the accountability framework for the Organization and to provide opportunities for bringing to light any misconduct, wrongdoing by any individuals working for or doing business with UNDP, the Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI) has established an Investigations Hotline and other measures to ensure that persons wishing to report fraud may do so, free of charge, using a number of different options.
UNDP takes all reports of alleged wrongdoing seriously. In accordance with the UNDP Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standards of Conduct (PDF), the Office of Audit and Investigation is the principal channel to receive allegations.
Anyone with information regarding fraud against UNDP programmes or involving UNDP staff is strongly encouraged to report this information through the Investigations Hotline.
People reporting wrongdoing to the Investigations Hotline have the option to leave relevant contact information or to remain anonymous. However, allegations of workplace harassment and abuse of authority cannot be reported anonymously.
When reporting to the Investigations Hotline, people are encouraged to be as specific as possible, including the basic details of who, what, where, when and how any of these incidents occurred. Specific information will allow OAI to properly investigate the alleged wrongdoing.
Requests for confidentiality by complainant or witnesses will be honored to the extent possible within the legitimate needs of the investigation.
The transmittal of knowingly false information to OAI by UNDP staff members constitutes misconduct, for which disciplinary measures may be imposed. UNDP will sanction any personnel who deliberately make a false accusation or intentionally provide false information.
How to report retaliation?
Staff members have a right to be protected from retaliation for having reported allegations of wrongdoing or for having cooperated with a duly authorized audit or investigation. UNDP personnel who believe that retaliatory action has been taken against them may forward all supporting information and documentation to the Ethics Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). If the Ethics Office establishes a credible case of retaliation or threat of retaliation, it will refer the case to OAI for investigation. UNDP will do its utmost to protect whistleblowers by sanctioning personnel who take reprisals against individuals who report allegations of wrongdoing.
The Office of Audit and Investigation (OAI) provides UNDP with effective independent and objective internal oversight that is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of UNDP's operations in achieving its development goals and objectives through the provision of internal audit and related advisory services, and investigation services.
WHAT IS OAI'S INVESTIGATION MANDATE?
OAI's Investigations Section has the mandate to investigate all reports of alleged wrongdoing involving UNDP staff members and allegations of fraud and corruption against UNDP whether committed by UNDP staff members or other persons, parties or entities where the wrongdoing is to the detriment of UNDP. OAI is the sole office in UNDP mandated to conduct investigations.
WHAT DOES OAI INVESTIGATE?
OAI conducts investigations into allegations of:
- Procurement fraud
- Corruption and bribery
- Theft and embezzlement
- Entitlements fraud
- Misuse of UNDP resources
- Failure to comply with financial disclosure requirements
- Improper recruitment
- Retaliation against whistleblowers
- Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
- Assault and threat
- Workplace harassment
- Abuse of authority
- Failure to comply with local laws/abuse of privileges and immunities
- Any other misconduct, such as willful, reckless or grossly negligent disregard of UNDP regulations, rules, and administrative instructions.
WHAT DOES OAI NOT INVESTIGATE?
OAI does not investigate allegations that do not constitute misconduct, but indicate managerial issues or interpersonal issues.
HOW DOES OAI INVESTIGATE
OAI conducts fact-finding investigations in an ethical, professional and impartial manner, in accordance with the UNDP Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standards of Conduct (PDF) and with the OAI Investigations Guidelines (PDF).
WHAT WILL OAI DO?
OAI will acknowledge the receipt of all allegations. OAI will accept anonymous allegations except for those regarding workplace harassment or abuse of authority. OAI will review the allegations and conduct a preliminary assessment to determine whether there are sufficient indications to warrant a formal investigation.
During a formal investigation, OAI will establish the facts and substantiate the findings with evidence. OAI submits its investigation reports to the Legal Support Office (LSO) for consideration of disciplinary proceedings or administrative action, as appropriate. Where the investigation does not substantiate the alleged wrongdoing, OAI will close the case and inform the concerned individual accordingly.
WHAT DOES DUE PROCESS MEAN?
Due process means that the investigation is conducted in a fair, transparent and professional manner. OAI investigators give subjects of an investigation the opportunity to put forward their versions of the facts and present relevant documentary evidence and witnesses. Any investigation subject may request another UNDP staff member or an immediate family member to be present as an observer during his/her interview, subject to applicable guidelines.
Jointly prepared by the Bureau of Management, the Office of Audit and Investigations and the Ethics Office, this updated UNDP Anti-Fraud Policy (which supersedes the previous policy statement codified since 2005), reaffirms that UNDP adopts a zero tolerance policy against frauds and other corrupt practices that are inconsistent with the UN Standard of Conduct or involve a loss to UNDP funds.
This Anti-Fraud Policy applies to all activities and operations of UNDP. It covers any project funded by UNDP, any project implemented by UNDP, and any implementing partner. It covers fraud or allegations of frauds involving UNDP staff members and its personnel, including but not limited to consultants, service contract holders (SCs), individual contractors (ICs) , interns, and United Nations volunteers (UNVs) as well as frauds perpetrated against UNDP by contractors, suppliers of goods and services, implementing partners, or other third parties.