WIPO Closes Case Against UN Agency Chief Over Alleged Misconduct

  • UN’s top auditor said WIPO should weigh action against Gurry
  • WIPO to focus on strengthening internal oversight policy

The World Intellectual Property Organization has closed its investigation into alleged misconduct by Francis Gurry, the director-general of the United Nations’ agency, and plans to take no further action against the Australian lawyer.

WIPO’s coordination committee said in a statement that member states agreed unanimously to focus on strengthening “internal procedures relating to procurement, internal oversight and whistleblower policy.”

The UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services said in a report sent to WIPO member nations earlier this month that Gurry acted inappropriately by intervening in the bidding for a cyber-security contract awarded to an Australian supplier. The UN’s top auditor said his behavior was “inconsistent with the standards expected” of a WIPO staff member and the organization “should consider taking appropriate action against him.”

Gurry said he welcomed the coordination committee’s decision and the renewed confidence shown in him by member states.

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