The General Legal Section is primarily responsible for providing legal advice and support to all areas of the Secretariat to ensure that the Agency’s activities (particularly corporate and administrative matters relating to, inter alia, audits; contracts and other commercial agreements; financial regulations and rules; personnel issues; procurements; and relationships with Member States and the host countries, the United Nations, cooperating institutions and other international organizations) are conducted in accordance with applicable agreements, rules, governing policies and relevant jurisprudence.
Administrative and Financial Matters
The General Legal Section advises on issues concerning the Agency’s financial transactions, the correct application of the Financial Regulations and Financial Rules and the acceptance of voluntary contributions to the Agency. Furthermore, it provides legal advice and support relating to audits and other administrative matters
Contractual Agreements and Procurement
The General Legal Section advises on the procedures for procurement of goods and services by the Agency. The General Legal Section represents OLA in the Procurement Review Committee (PRC); an inter-departmental committee responsible for the review of contract awards. The Section is responsible for ensuring that all agreements and contracts to which the Agency is a party are drawn up in proper legal form. In doing so, the General Legal Section plays an important role in the negotiation, drafting and clearance of contracts and other private international law instruments.
Privileges and Immunities, Headquarters Agreement and Host Government Agreements
The General Legal Section provides advice on the interpretation and implementation of the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the Agency, the Headquarters Agreement concluded with the Republic of Austria, as well as Host State Agreements for other Agency facilities. In doing so, the Section ensures respect for the legal status and privileges and immunities of the Agency and its officials. The General Legal Section also assists with the negotiation and conclusion of other international agreements, including Host Government Agreements for meetings and activities held by the Agency in other countries throughout the world. The General Legal Section, furthermore, advises on the negotiation and implementation of Relationship and Cooperation Agreements concluded with Governments, the United Nations and its specialized agencies and other intergovernmental organizations.
Human Resources and Administrative Dispute Resolution
With regard to Human Resources, the General Legal Section advises on a broad range of personnel-related administrative issues, including the interpretation and application of the Staff Regulations and Rules and the development of personnel policies. The General Legal Section assists the Director General in analysing disciplinary cases and it also provides advice to the Secretariat concerning appeals against administrative decisions. General Legal prepares the Agency’s submissions with respect to appeals filed with the International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) in Geneva, Switzerland.