Vetting Public Employees in Post-Conflict Settings

TitleVetting Public Employees in Post-Conflict Settings
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleOperational Guidelines Published by UNDP
Year of Publication2006
Number of Pages69 pp.
PublisherUNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery
Accession Number807

Vetting to ensure minimum standards of integrity in public service is widely recognized as an important institutional reform measure in post-conflict settings. Little systematic attention, however, has been paid to the topic, and there exists a broad variety of views about, and approaches to, vetting.This dearth of analysis affects the practice of vetting as well, and many countries emerging from conflict handle such processes poorly, and often unfairly. These operational vetting guidelines build on systematic research that included country case studies, an assessment of related United Nations practice, and a review of relevant literature.The operational guidelines are divided into six sections. The first defines the concept of vetting and situates it in the context of institutional reform and transitional justice. The second discusses conditions for a vetting process and risks of undesirable consequences. The third section describes different types of vetting processes. The fourth proposes a methodology to design a vetting process. The fifth section presents institutional reform measures that generally need to accompany a vetting process to safeguard its results and ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the overall reform effort. The final section provides sources of additional information on vetting within the United Nations system. Further resources and tools on vetting are provided in the six annexes to these operational guidelines.While institutional reform to prevent the recurrence of human rights abuse is an obligation under international law and vetting is a measure States are encouraged to undertake, there is significant flexibility regarding the form of vetting processes. Vetting strategies need to address the unique historical and political challenges of each society emerging from conflict. Different types of institutions also raise specific concerns, and vetting strategies need to respond to the particular requirements of the institution in question. The fundamental rights of the persons subject to vetting need, however, to be respected and the political misuse of vetting must be prevented. The guidelines can be downloaded from UNDP's webpage (see link below).

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