Board of inquiry
A Board of Inquiry (BOI) is a managerial tool used to review and record the facts of serious incidents, with a view to identifying gaps in policies and procedures, strengthening internal controls and improving financial managerial accountability. The BOI is not an investigative or judicial process and does not consider questions of compensation, legal liability or disciplinary action. BOI reports are often used as supporting documentation for consideration of claims
Boards of inquiry are convened by the head of mission or by the Under-Secretaries-General for Operational Support, Peace Operations or Peacebuilding and Political Affairs. A BOI is mandatory in the following circumstances:
- Incidents resulting in the death or serious injury of mission personnel;
- Incidents resulting in the death or serious injury of a third party where mission personnel are involved;
- The kidnapping of any United Nations personnel;
- Loss or damage to UN-owned equipment in the amount of $25,000 or more that cannot be ascribed to wear and tear;
- Loss or damage to third party-owned equipment in the amount of $10,000 or more when mission personnel are involved;
- Loss or damage to contingent-owned equipment in the following circumstances:
- Cases involving loss or damage of major equipment as a result of a single incident of hostile action or forced abandonment in which the generic fair market value of the loss or damage equals or exceeds $250,000;
- Cases involving major or minor loss or damage to COE used by one contingent but provided by another;
- Cases involving major or minor loss or damage to COE in which personnel from more than one contingent are involved.
A BOI report should be completed within 90 days from the date of occurrence. BOI reports are confidential internal documents which contain sensitive information and are not generally made available to outside entities.
BOI are not convened for allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, for which separate processes are in place.
A roster of individuals qualified to serve on a BOI is maintained by the mission BOI officer, who usually also serves as the secretary of the BOI.
The mission legal officer is responsible for reviewing the terms of reference of each BOI, briefing the members of a BOI of their responsibilities, reviewing the draft BOI report to ensure compliance with applicable regulations, rules and policies and providing a written legal opinion to accompany the final BOI report.
Head of Mission Report
The head of mission may in certain circumstances forego convening a BOI and submit a head of mission report instead. Such reports are generally submitted:
- Under exceptional circumstances where convening a BOI is not practical, such as during ongoing hostilities, natural disasters, or when missions have limited capacity, e.g. during mission start-up or downsizing;
- Cases of illness-related death in which investigation or military reports do not present issues requiring further review; and
- Cases of death or serious injury that take place during personal leave outside the mission area.
As with BOI reports, head of mission reports are confidential internal documents which contain sensitive information and are not generally made available to outside entities.
- Contingent-owned equipment
- 2008.23 Policy Directive: Boards of Inquiry
- 2016.23 Standard Operating Procedure: Boards of Inquiry
- IED-20-002 OIOS report: Inspection of Boards of Inquiry in peacekeeping operations
- 2008.23 Policy Directive: Boards of inquiry