G E N E R A L S E C R E T A R I A T
ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM NO. 81
The OAS General Secretariat ("GS/OAS") enjoys privileges and immunities in the Member States to facilitate the performance of the Organization's functions and the achievement of its purposes. Regarding those privileges and immunities, Staff Rule 101.9 provides:
Any and all privileges and immunities accorded to staff members by the Member States, by way of agreement, legislation, or custom and practice, are granted in the interests of the General Secretariat and not for the personal benefit of the individuals themselves. The Secretary General may waive the immunity of any staff member in any case, where in the Secretary General's opinion, the immunity would impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the organization.
One of the privileges and immunities afforded GS/OAS with respect to certain staff members who are not nationals or permanent residents of the State in which they serve is the exemption from import duties and taxes in importing or purchasing an automobile for personal use. In Recommendation No. 10 of Internal Audit Report SG/OIG/Audit 11/97, the Inspector General recommended that the use of the exemption should be regulated more closely. The regulations set out in this Administrative Memorandum are intended to respond to that Recommendation.
1. As a condition to importing or purchasing any vehicle for personal use exempt from taxes or import duties pursuant to exemptions granted to the GS/OAS by way of agreement or national legislation, a staff member must submit to the Office of the Assistant Secretary General a sworn affidavit, with supporting documentation (including the purchase and sale agreement, bill of lading, exemption application to revenue authorities), which contains:
2. Within thirty days of the disposition of a motor vehicle covered by the preceding Paragraph, the staff member will comply with the commitments undertaken pursuant to Subparagraphs 1(c) and 1(d) above.
3. A staff member may deduct from the amount owed under Paragraph 1(d) the amount of taxes and/or import duties the staff member previously paid in purchasing or importing any motor vehicle(s) in the duty station for the staff member's primary dependents (as defined in Staff Rule 103.16, provided that:
4. A staff member may also deduct from the amount owed under Paragraph 1(d) the amount, if any, directly attributable to market appreciation in the value of the motor vehicle not directly related to the exemptions from import duties and taxes received, provided that the staff member submits with the documentation required under Paragraph 3(b) an appraisal verifying such appreciation from an expert appraiser or reputable dealer who markets that vehicle model in the duty station.
5. The submission of any false statements or documents in relation to these regulations may give rise to the application of disciplinary measures under the Staff Rules, including summary dismissal.
6. Any action by a staff member regarding the importation, purchase, lease, sale, or other transfer of a motor vehicle in violation or in subterfuge of the laws of an OAS Member State may give rise to the application of disciplinary measures under the Staff Rules, including summary dismissal.
7. The Office of the Assistant Secretary General shall review all affidavits and documentation provided, shall monitor compliance with these Regulations, and will forward to the Department of Human Resources originals and or copies of those documents for filing in the staff member's personnel file.
By way of this Administrative Memorandum, all rules, regulations, instructions, ad practices of the General Secretariat that run counter to these provisions are hereby rescinded.
IV. ENTRY INTO FORCE
This Administrative Memorandum shall enter into force on the date of its signature and with the exception of operative paragraph 6, applies only to purchases and importations of motor vehicles with exemptions from duties and taxes after that date.
James R. Harding
Date: October 15, 1997