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Investigations Specialist

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-21

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UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Female candidates and People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI) reports to the Administrator and is responsible for internal audit and investigations services to UNDP and its affiliated entities. 

The Investigations Section of OAI conducts assessments and investigations into allegations of misconduct, such as fraud, theft and embezzlement, corruption, abuse of privileges and immunities, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, workplace harassment and abuse of authority, retaliation on whistleblowers, or other acts or omissions in conflict with the general obligations that involve UNDP staff and other personnel.

OAI also investigates allegations of fraud and other financial irregularities committed by contractors, implementing partners and other third parties, deemed to be detrimental to UNDP.  Where vendors are found to have engaged in proscribed practices (including, for example, corruption, collusion and unethical conduct) OAI provides all relevant evidence to the UNDP vendor Review Committee for consideration of sanctions against the vendors involved.

In addition, OAI may undertake proactive investigations in high risk areas that are susceptible to fraud, corruption and other wrongdoings.

OAI has established the function of compliance review for UNDP’s social and environmental policies and procedures. In that regard, OAI operates a reporting mechanism and assesses all reports received to determine whether an investigation is required or whether the issue raised is more appropriately dealt with through a separate Grievance Handling process. Where the assessment determines that an investigation is warranted, OAI will investigate allegations of non-compliance with UNDP’s social and environmental policies and procedures. On the basis of the evidence collected during the investigation, OAI will recommend action to bring a project into compliance.

OAI has the sole responsibility for the conduct of all investigations within UNDP.

OAI conducts investigations in accordance with the Uniform Principles and Guidelines for

Investigations endorsed by the 10th Conference of International Investigators, with the UNDP Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with the United Nations Standards of Conduct, and with the OAI Investigation Guidelines.

The assessment, investigation and reporting of alleged non-compliance with UNDP’s social and environmental policies and procedures will be conducted in accordance with generally accepted international processes.

OAI maintains multi-language, toll-free reporting facilities (telephone hotline, web-based reporting facility, email, postal address and other means as appropriate) that function around the clock to facilitate staff, management and others to report any instances of fraud, corruption or other wrongdoings. OAI operates separate mechanisms for the reporting of alleged non-compliance with UNDP’s social and environmental policies and procedures. 

The Investigations Specialist functionally reports to the Investigations Manager (P5) on investigation issues, under the overall supervision of the Deputy Director (Investigations). 

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Director (Investigations), the primary role of the Investigations Specialist is to conduct investigations into matters that fall within OAI’s mandate, as outlined in ‘Organizational Context’ above.

Investigations Management:

  • As a member of the investigations team, the Investigations Specialist plans and conducts investigations to ensure that all appropriate lines of inquiry are identified, and investigation resources are used effectively and efficiently to factually determine the issues relevant to an investigation.
  • Identifies, collects and analyses information, using software, internal data and open source information relevant to investigations, demonstrating an understanding of information security and confidentiality issues relevant to investigation.
  • Collects, records and handles evidence appropriately, ensuring chain of custody and demonstrating knowledge of handling considerations for different types of evidence.
  • Uses specialist investigation services as and when appropriate (for example, handwriting analysis, document examination and computer forensics).
  • Interviews witnesses showing appropriate communications skills, accurate recording and verification of testimony through the use of interpreters as required.
  • Interviews subjects/suspects in accordance with generally accepted best practice procedures (in order to obtain reliable information, while affording due process).
  • Undertakes frequent, and at times extended, missions to UNDP offices worldwide, including areas with hazardous working conditions. 
  • Keeps the Investigation Section’s database and case files up to date on cases under investigation.
  • Proposes action to close matters where appropriate.
  • Drafts investigation reports of a high standard, providing an objective and factual summary of the investigation, with soundly based conclusions and recommendations supported by all evidence obtained in the course of the investigation. 

Client Services 

  • Liaises with the Legal Office (LO), the Ethics Office, the Procurement Support Office, the Social and Environmental Compliance Unit and other relevant offices in UNDP.
  • Liaises with the investigation sections of other international organizations and with national anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies as appropriate. 

Other tasks

  • Contributes to the ongoing development of professional practices within OAI.
  • Participates in the implementation of his/her personal learning and training development plan.
  • Performs other assignments or tasks as determined by the Deputy Director (Investigations).




  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.


  • Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management:

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.


  • Ability to get things done.


Building & Sharing Knowledge

  • Actively builds deep knowledge in one or more areas. 
  • Makes valuable practice contributions. 
  • Applies existing knowledge to work.
  • Provides advice & Support to others.

Team work

  • Participates in team-based activities.
  • Embraces extra responsibility.
  • Builds team morale and consensus.

Relationship Building

  • Builds strong client relationships. 
  • Focuses on client results and impacts. 
  • Anticipates evolving client needs. 
  • Manages conflict and stress.

Task Management Skills:

  • Produces timely, quality outputs. 
  • Exercises sound judgment/analysis. 
  • Develops creative solutions. 
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks


  • Provides constructive coaching and feedback. 
  • Acts as long-term mentor for others. 
  • Acts on personal development plan. 


  • Demonstrates ability to perform in accordance with relevant professional standards for administrative investigations.

Technical Competencies 

  • Demonstrates ability to use and apply the following technical process of aides, in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OAI services
  • Microsoft office suite.
  • Investigations software
  • Database applications.


Required Skills and Experience


  •  Advanced university degree (Masters) in investigations, management, finance, law or related field or a Bachelor’s Degree with at least 2 years additional experience in conducting criminal and/or administrative investigations as an investigator (in addition to the 5 years of investigations experience required below).
  • A combination of formal professional training from a national law enforcement or investigations academy or equivalent, and at least 2 years’ additional experience in conducting criminal and/or administrative investigations as an investigator (in addition to the 5 years of investigation experience required below) may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.
  • Formal professional training in a comprehensive range of investigation-related areas is an advantage.


  • A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible professional experience in complex criminal and/or administrative investigations or equivalent experience.
  • At least one year of experience working within an international investigation role is desirable.


  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Fluency in Spanish is required.
  • Proficiency in French is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of other United Nations official languages is desirable.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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