The great unanswered question; why does Florin Postica’s name hold such terror for the senior management of OIOS?
Why would anyone try to connect Florin Postica to the misconduct complaint that I filed?
On 14 March 2013, just a few days after I had to made the complaint, for the first and only time in my career in the UN, Lapointe actually wanted to speak to me.
“Someone” had gone running to tell her the complete fiction that Florin Postica had been involved in my complaint. There was not a shred of truth in this, but they alleged that I had said that he had said that Baldini had said that they (i.e. Baldinin and Dzuro) wanted me to resign….
Apart from being unsubstantiated double- or even triple-hearsay, this was pure and unmitigated fantasy. Lapointe, however, was prepared to take it seriously enough to find out if it was true.
On being assured that Mr. Postica had said nothing of the sort, Lapointe had no further interest in doing anything about my complaint and it went into the waste paper basket.
This, of course, is curious. I learned later that Lapointe had dragged her feet over issuing Florin Postica a simple Clearance Letter following the retaliatory investigation that Dudley had engineered against him, and when she did, the letter did not “clear” him quite as clearly as Dudley had been cleared.
It is quite clear now that the reason for the rabid attacks that I suffered was simple because I had dared to speak to Florin Postica. This may sound bizarre, but OIOS was a truly bizarre environment. Maintaining a cordial relationship with, and going so far as to engage in conversation with Florin Postica was, as far as ‘the opposing faction’ in OIOS were concerned, akin to selling one’s soul to the Devil. It made me wonder sometimes if I had been caught up in a sick science fiction story based on the “Zoltar the Fortune Teller” machine in the Tom Hanks movie “Big”, and that a bunch of kindergarten children had been magically transplanted into adult bodies and given management positions in the UN.
Anyone not in the appropriate gang was an outcast, and an enemy to be subjected to all the bullying tactics that the legal system tries – not always successfully – to discourage.
Michael Dudley and his accolytes had an ongoing feud against Florin Postica. Trying to stay out of it and get on with your job was like being cast in the role of Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984, and there was no doubt as to who reveled in the role of ‘Big Brother’.
Indeed, when I was assigned to work for Dan Wilson, both Dudley and Baldini were unable to conceal their wrath that I “had allegedly spoken to Florin Postica”. This was clearly a hanging offence.
The truth of the matter was that prior to the PIP, I had indeed “spoken to Florin Postica” and done so quite regularly, but only because he would come in and say hello in the mornings, and unlike anyone else in the office, he could hold an interesting intellectual discussion about legal or investigative issues that were of professional interest. The first time I went to him to ask for his advice on anything was when I was presented with the PIP. He had been in OIOS nearly 20 years and I wanted to know about PIPs – and he told me he did never heard of anyone getting one before.
That was interesting; Dzuro & Baldini were saying I was possibly the worst investigator in the history of OIOS….
Few public documents illustrate the toxic working environment within OIOS as much as the Nguyen-Kropp & Postica judgement, and few things demonstrate the counter-productive culture of the UN as much as the Organisation’s refusal to take any action against the OIOS staff who had engineered the retaliation against Mr. Postica and Ms. Nguyen-Kropp following that judgement. This is why Dan Wilson’s statements are so interesting.
Anyway, the salient facts of what transpired on 14 March 2013 are:
2) The complaint had been one of harassment and abuse of authority.
3) Harassment and abuse of authority are violations of ST/SGB/2008/5.
4) On receipt of such a complaint under ST/SGB/2008/5 , the procedure to be followed by a ‘responsible official’ – in this case Lapointe – is found at para 5.14. You do not need to be a lawyer to follow it, a basic ability to read English is usually sufficient:
5.14 Upon receipt of a formal complaint or report, the responsible official will promptly review the complaint or report to assess whether it appears to have been made in good faith and whether there are sufficient grounds to warrant a formal fact-finding investigation. If that is the case, the responsible office shall promptly appoint a panel of at least two individuals from the department, office or mission concerned who have been trained in investigating allegations of prohibited conduct or, if necessary, from the Office of Human Resources Management roster.
So what did Lapointe do?
She followed up on a groundless counter-complaint in an attempt to pursue the ongoing vendetta in the office against Florin Postica, and when she was unable to do that, my complaint went straight into the waste paper basket. She conveniently overlooked the fact that I was asking questions that Dzuro and Baldini should have been able to answer but couldn’t. She ignored the total absence of a single example of an alleged “performance shortcoming” and – five days later – she was congratulating Baldini on the second version of the PIP: when she wrote:
“I have reviewed the PIP for this employee prepared by Vlad with your involvement, and I agree it is very specific and measurable–in fact one of the better ones I have seen”
If Lapointe had answers to the questions I had raised, she obviously did not want to share them with me, and I am still waiting to hear how “Improve your judgement” is either specific or measurable.
The only thing she thought was worth asking me about was if Florin Postica was involved.
It is curious, but when she spoke to me on 14 March, Lapointe assured me that my complaint would be looked at. Five days later, she showed whose side she was on, and it certainly wasn’t Postica’s, and it certainly wasn’t mine, and she certainly wasn’t playing by the rules laid down in ST/SGB/2008/5 either.
The die was cast and I was screwed from the outset. So much for the Rule of Law and so much for the “Integrity, Impartiality, Objectivity and Professionalism” heralded on the OIOS website.
Lapointe would not even suspend Dudley after the Nguyen-Kropp & Postica judgement was reported in the media. Only one person would ever suffer any disciplinary action from anything out of that case, and that was me, for the heinous offence of making reference to the judgement!
All because I committed the heinous offence of daring to speak to Florin Postica!
It wouldn’t be so bad if Postica’s detractors had some moral high ground to stand on, or they were even credible themselves…….. but they didn’t and they weren’t.
They did, however, have the Under-Secretary-General of OIOS supporting them, and she had the Chief of Staff supporting her, so who cares about such esoteric nonsense as ‘facts’ or ‘rules’ or anything else?