“Promote accountability, integrity and provide impartial and reliable information”
The Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI) of UNDP has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing investigation services to UN Women as required. OAI’s Investigation Section will assess and, as needed, investigate allegations of fraud, corruption or other wrongdoing by UN Women personnel or by third parties to the detriment of UN Women. OAI will establish the facts that will allow UN Women’s senior management to initiate disciplinary proceedings or other sanctions. The Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI) has established a dedicated “anti-fraud hotline” for UN Women to ensure that persons wishing to report fraud, corruption or other wrongdoing may do so at any time, free of charge, and confidentially.
UN Women has zero tolerance for fraud, corruption and any kind of wrongdoing. UN Women takes all reports of alleged fraud, corruption and other wrongdoing seriously and has tasked the Office of Audit and Investigation of UNDP to be the principal channel to receive and investigate such allegations.
Anyone with information regarding fraud, corruption or other wrongdoing against UN Women programmes or involving UN Women personnel is strongly encouraged to report this information through the Investigations Hotline.
The “anti-fraud hotline” (Investigations Hotline), managed by an independent service provider on behalf of OAI to protect confidentiality, can be directly accessed worldwide and free of charge in different ways:
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 honoured to the extent possible within the legitimate needs of the investigation.
The transmittal of knowingly false information to OAI constitutes misconduct. UN Women 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. UN Women personnel who believe that retaliatory action has been taken against them may forward all supporting information and documentation to the United Nations Ethics Office (ethicsoffice[at]un.org). If the United Nations Ethics Office establishes a credible case of retaliation or threat of retaliation, it will refer the case to OAI for investigation. UN Women will do its utmost to protect whistleblowers by sanctioning personnel who take reprisals against individuals who report allegations of wrongdoing.
What is OAI?
The Office of Audit and Investigation (OAI), through its UN Women Audit Unit, provides UN Women with effective independent and objective internal oversight that is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of UN Women’s operations in achieving its development goals and objectives through the provision of internal audit and related advisory services. Through its Investigation Section, OAI also provides investigation services to UN Women.
What is OAI’s investigation mandate?
OAI’s Investigations Section has the mandate to investigate all reports of alleged wrongdoing involving UN staff members and other personnel as well as allegations of fraud and corruption committed by other persons, parties or entities to the detriment of UN Women. OAI is the sole office mandated to conduct investigations in UN Women.
What does OAI investigate?
OAI conducts investigations into allegations of:
- Procurement fraud;
- Corruption and bribery;
- Theft and embezzlement;
- Entitlements fraud;
- Misuse of 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 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 UN Women Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standards of Conduct, the Uniform Guidelines for Investigations adopted by the Conference of International Investigators, and the OAI’s Investigation Guidelines.
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 UN Women 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 staff member or an immediate family member to be present as an observer during his/her interview, subject to applicable guidelines.