After Dr. Biru filed his first racial discrimination complaint with the World Bank Tribunal, the World Bank put him on probation. To top it off, it required him to perform miracle to redeem his performance record and retain his position.
Excellent was not good enough. It was a Miracle that was asked of him.
During the probation period, part of Dr. Biru's work was to prepare a strategic proposal on the use of the global economic survey data for global food and energy price volatility analysis and policy making. The proposal was praised by international experts as follows:
Erwin Diewert, Distinguished BCU Professor, British Columbia University: "I like this proposal very much! If the proposal goes forward, it will greatly improve the next round of the global economic survey. But more importantly, it will put the global survey on a continuous time basis. This would be a very exciting development!"
John O'Connor, President, EconOcon, former head of the Bank's data division: "I bounced the idea off Ted Gillin, who has decades at UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He thinks you have a powerful idea and the Director General of FAO might like the idea if presented correctly. .... In short, I think this is a great idea and probably all factors are aligned to give it a decent chance.... Great idea, good luck!"
The World Bank contacted senior management at UN FAO and asked them to take leadership on this program with the World Bank providing supporting role. In the meantime, the World Bank told Dr. Biru his proposal will not be counted as an output and he will not get credit for it in his performance evaluation.
The following is the miracle that was asked of him on which his performance was measured.
Dr. Biru was managing six different research projects that were being undertaken by six independent consultants, who were professors in reputable universities in the US (Princeton and University of Pennsylvania), Australia, India, Austria and Egypt. The contract the six consultants signed with the World Bank was to provide Dr, Biru with their respective first draft on April 15.
The World Bank required him to prepare a synthesis of the six papers, including their methodology, findings, and conclusions by March 2, six weeks before he was scheduled to receive the first drafts from the consultants. Dr. Biru protested, stressing he could not prepare a synthesis of six independent papers six weeks before the first drafts were due to him. His manager told him to "read the consultants' minds" or "do miracles" but make sure to meet the March 2 deadline.
Dr. Biru was not able to meet the humanly and professionally impossible task. This was one of the reason that the World Bank justified its decision to terminate him, alleging poor performance. Apparently, this was used as evidence that his official performance record was "over-inflated." The Bank claimed he was given a chance to redeem himself, but he failed. He was terminated.
The World Bank Tribunal found his termination "an abuse of discretion", "arbitrary" and "unlawful." Nonetheless, it ruled the Bank should not reinstate him. The judgement read: "Neither the Tribunal’s Statute nor its Rules require that the Tribunal must order reinstatement when it finds a termination decision to be arbitrary... Over the years, he has criticized his managers," presumably for discriminating against him.