The first responsibility of the Ethics Officer is an advisory function. Upon request, the Ethics Officer counsels the administration and staff members on questions of ethics and advises on the permissibility of outside activities. This is a 360-degree advisory function, since it embraces both the administration and officials, whose interests are not necessarily the same.

The consultation is not intended to replace existing procedures, in particular as far as outside activities are concerned, but merely to provide interested officials with confidential guidance upon request before they take action.

In principle, the Ethics Office is not authorised to receive reports of misconduct. Reports of misconduct received by the Ethics Office are forwarded to the appropriate authority. All staff members have a duty to report suspected cases of misconduct to the relevant office (e.g. HRS, or the Treasurer).

Furthermore, the Ethics Officer does not deal with administrative decisions regarding employment and does not resolve grievances. In case of conflict, staff members are encouraged to seek the impartial and independent advice of the Mediator, or they may seek a review by HRS, and ultimately appeal to the ILO Administrative Tribunal.

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