How we investigate

Overall approach

An OIOS investigation is an administrative fact-finding activity, which means collecting evidence to either support or refute the reported violations. The focus is on possible misconduct by individuals and prohibited practices by vendors/third parties; however, some systemic issues might also be analysed at the same time.

Investigations are conducted by OIOS in a professional and impartial manner. Where evidence of misconduct is established, the Investigations Division will send the Secretary-General the results of its investigation, together with recommendations, to guide the Secretary-General in deciding on the appropriate action to be taken. OIOS is not, however, responsible for deciding whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings or to institute corrective action as a result of its investigations.

To facilitate receipt of reports of possible wrongdoing, the Investigations Division operates a reporting mechanism. OIOS protects the confidentiality of those who make reports to it in good faith, whether the investigation substantiates the report or not. Intentionally false complaints, where established, constitute misconduct, which is subject to possible sanction.
All staff members are required to cooperate fully with official investigations. OIOS also has the right to direct and prompt access to all persons engaged in activities under the authority of the Organization, as well as all records, documents or other materials, assets and premises and to obtain such information and explanations as it considers necessary to fulfil its responsibilities.

With its headquarters in New York, the Investigations Division provides global investigative services through regional investigation centres in Entebbe, New York and Vienna, plus field offices in Nairobi and five United Nations peacekeeping missions: Haiti (MINUJUSTH), Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Mali (MINUSMA), South Sudan (UNMISS), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

Guiding Principles

We are bound by a set of principles of conduct so that we can be professional investigators who are respected, trusted and strive for service excellence.

Principles of Conduct

Members of the Investigations Division of OIOS will -

  • Acknowledge and assess reports of possible violations of United Nations regulations and rules, and administrative issuances
  • Conduct inquiries only when authorized and in compliance with the OIOS Investigations Manual and related guidance materials
  • Act honestly without bias and communicate in a courteous and open manner
  • Ensure all reasonable lines of enquiry are pursued, including the examination of both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence
  • Disclose any possible conflict of interest to their supervisor and recuse themselves if any personal or outside interests may prejudice an investigation

Investigations hotline

To provide confidential reports of waste, fraud, mismanagement or other wrongdoing in the United Nations, please contact OIOS:

Submit online reporting form:




Call  hotline at :

 + 1 212 963 1111 (24 hours a day)

Regular mail to:

     Director, Investigations Division
     Office of Internal Oversight Services
     1 United Nations Plaza, 9th Floor
     New York, NY 10017, U.S.A

OIOS investigates misconduct allegations that involve personnel and entities within the United Nations Secretariat, including field missions.