IOM defines fraud as a misrepresentation or concealment of material facts with the intent to deceive and obtain unauthorized benefit. It involves deliberate and deceptive acts, such as forgery of any document, with intent to obtain benefits, such as money, property, or services. Misrepresentation could be false presentation, concealment, or non-disclosure but does not include expressing an opinion.

There are typically 4 elements involved in any fraud case: (1) a materially false statement that is (2) made deliberately in the knowledge that it is false, (3) reliance on the false statement by the victim, which results in 4) damages to the victim. 

According to IN/70, fraud can be classified into 3 categories, each with further sub-categories:

  • Fraudulent Statements (Financial and non-financial)
  • Asset misappropriation (of (1) Cash through Larceny, Skimming or Fraudulent Disbursements or (2) Inventory and all other assets which include larceny and misuse)
  • Corruption (with the sub-categories of Conflict of Interest, Bribery, Illegal Gratuities, and Economic Extortion)
Examples of fraud include:
  • Theft and stealing
  • Bribery
  • Fraudulent statements (for example, intentionally forging a document)
  • Misuse of property
  • Misuse of position and available information
  • Present inaccurate information and documentation

The types of fraud listed above are not exhaustive. For a more comprehensive overview, please review IN/70 (Fraud Awareness and Prevention Guidelines).

A few examples of cases at IOM that resulted in disciplinary measures are listed below:
  • Staff member forged emails and documents to obtain a visa;
  • Staff member submitted the same travel claim twice;
  • Staff member took money from IOM without authorization (e.g., from the IOM safe, from petty cash, withdrawal using IOM credit card) for personal benefit;
  • Staff member did not return a large amount of cash entrusted to him for official purposes;
  • Staff member received money from IOM’s beneficiaries in her personal bank account;
  • Staff member stole money from another staff member;
  • Staff member shared information with external parties to give them the advantage to obtain benefits in return;
  • Staff member presented inaccurate information and fake documents to favor an external party to obtain benefits in a return.

As a part of fraudulent conduct, IOM defines conflict of interest as when a staff member’s personal interests interfere with the performance of his or her official duties and responsibilities or with the integrity, independence and impartiality required by the staff member’s status as an international civil servant. This can also apply when the circumstances in which the private interests of the international civil servant’s family or friends or a favored person conflict or appear to conflict with the interests of the Organization.

IOM defines corruption as the act of doing something to obtain some advantage inconsistent with official duty. It occurs, for example, when fraudsters wrongfully use their influence of position in a transaction to their benefit or that of another party to whom the benefit is not due.

IOM defines the misuse of IOM resources as using official property, assets, equipment or files, including electronic files or data, for private benefit or in a way that is detrimental to the organization, including prohibited use of ICT resources.

This means that one should not use work property for personal activities and benefits. Data is also considered an IOM resource and it cannot be shared or exploited for personal profit. This includes the use of technologies that might create a conflict of interest, damage IOM’s reputation, or allow illegal activity.

Misuse of resources may also involve the use of the official property for personal gain.

Examples include:
  • Transferring or disclosing internal, confidential IOM information and data;
  • Maliciously destroying a computer’s security protection settings (for example, anti-virus scans);
  • Accessing, viewing, storing, or sharing sexually explicit images, text, cartoons, jokes, or any other form of sexually explicit material, or failing to immediately delete such material if received;
  • Unauthorized use of IOM Vehicle.

The list above is not exhaustive. Similar inappropriate actions are also considered misconduct. Learn more about the misuse of ICT resources in IN/123 Rev. 1 (ICT Policies and Guidelines).

A few examples of cases of Misuse of Resources at IOM that resulted in disciplinary measures are listed below:
  • Staff member used IOM IT equipment to access, view, store and transmit sexually explicit photographs and videos;
  • Staff member transferred operational cash advances without the proper authorization to the private bank account of another staff member, who misappropriated the cash;
  • Staff member drove IOM vehicles after driver’s license validity had lapsed;
  • Staff member drove an IOM vehicle under alcohol intoxication, while on duty, and carried unauthorized individuals in an IOM vehicle.

It is important to keep in mind that staff members cannot perform duties with integrity, independently and impartiality, in processes where personal interests are part of the process. 

It can be hard to differentiate between types of misconduct, thus IOM staff are encouraged to submit a report to OIG who will undertake a preliminary assessment and initiate an investigation if warranted, or refer the matter to other offices, as needed.  LEG is handling disciplinary proceedings and sanctions are decided by ODG.

Fighting fraud, corruption, and misuse of resources in the IOM is a primary responsibility of ALL staff, including management, and other IOM personnel. Each staff member has a duty to report breaches of IOM’s rules and regulations. Staff members reporting in good faith are protected against retaliation.

You might not always be sure if you have witnessed misconduct, but if something feels wrong or you suspect that wrongdoing occurred, report it to the WeAreAllIn platform or policies and guidance’s can be found in the following IN’s: 

  • IN/142 Policy on Reporting Irregular Practices, Wrongdoing and Misconduct 
  • IN/15 Standard of Conduct
  • IN/275 Reporting and Investigation of Misconduct Framework

Last updated: 04 May 2022