Monday, December 31, 2007

The White Africans who keep UNDP secure: 11 million US$ spent to have our brothers and sisters killed in Algeria

(names are withheld from fear of direct retaliation from Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert)

from: ..........................,
date: Dec 31, 2007
subject: [UNDP WATCH] New comment on How democratic are the institutions upon which we ....
mailed-by:

I thought I would give your publication the first opportunity, as the target audience is the most appropriate.

HQ in Algeria was blown up, with 13 dead, Now for Damage Control ... or fixing the blame
The UN HQ in Algeria was blown up, with 13 dead, the irony of this is that there is a budget to implement security, create stand offs to harden the targets but it was all ignored there was even an extra budget called MOSS/TARR to implement additional security measures besides the normal yearly budget and all went to waste no one did anything money disappeared and now who pays for the loss of 13 lives due to the security at the Office in Algeria. Someone needs to be held to account for that and the sooner the better. How much is the value of one life saved and how much more can be done at the international level in fulfilling UN mandate when corruption is rooted out.

But in the aftermath, most of those dead were SSAs (contractors), so UNDP don't care much, and doesn't even cover them under any form of insurance and or protection schemes. In fact UNDP's Ad Melkert has signed a deal with an Insurance Company which do not cover the "terrorist acts", so who is going to pay for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives ? Now Ad Melkert is giving orders to Akiko Yuge and Darshak Shah to find a way to pay somehow from other funds. While the Insurance Company is preparing to hike the prices - given the Algeria events.

Al Qaida took responsibility for the bombing but this begs the question as who is really at fault, and who will be the fall guy or guys and gals. It is easy to give credit or take credit; it is more difficult to fix blame where it really belongs. It is almost impossible, based on the sorted track record of the UN to accept their mistakes and take appropriate action to keep their house in order. The UN is more into damage control than to solving problems. Part of the problem is connected to networks of patronage and good old boy connections. Now it is time to looking for a fall guy. This is not the first time and unless there is organizational chance, such things can happen again and again.

It is clear from well placed sources at HQ they are looking for a fall guy for all the dead in Algeria even with all the money gone they are lining their pockets and it is very sophisticated in how they are doing it but the budget was there and they took the money and people died because of it a bit on criminal side due to the body count.

The South African Mafia inside UNDP

We all know the UN system is replete with mafia from various nationalities. However within the small office that provides for the security of UNDP the South African Mafia has become so well entrenched that even if you lack the basic qualifications you can land yourself a nice L-4 post and make yourself a home if you know the right people and of course come from the right country (and know who to show your appreciate to, and how the payment system works). Below that comes a thriving level of intermediaries.

Let us talk specifics, at least what can be easily verified. Certainly this mess and total cock-up must have been allowed to exist with the full knowledge of senior management, if not ... then let the reader be the judge.

Mr. Leon Terblanche

The former, recently de-throned P-5 Chief of the UNDP Security Unit was a South African with dual nationality in Canada. Mr. T managed to institutionalize himself as the Security Chief for several years even though he lacked any real security background. Mr. T. was a former South African military officer working in the engineers with military explosives and de-mining. He worked on several de-mining projects prior to getting the security post with the support of his friend ms. Janie McClusker of UNFPA.

Mr. T. was replaced only this past year after failing to compete for his own post, failing also in his diligent effort to re-align the post to a D1 ranking. His one success as Chief was to successful dis-enfranchise the Security Unit from all of the other business units where he was seen by many as the ultimate dis-enabler for UNDP by how he managed the security office. Only when truly qualified candidates were allowed to apply, and following years of his poor management was he finally removed only to be exiled as the UN Security Officer for all of the UN in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Jan A.B. (JAB)Swart

A engineer of Mr. Terblanche, Mr. Swart managed to have his close friend;s create and hire him into the UNDP Security Unit. Again Mr. S. possessed no security background but was given a comfortable P-4 post. One hand washes the other, as Mr. S. had previously given Mr. T. a post when working as a project manager with UNOPS, and so Mr. Swart assumed his P4 post. In Mr. T’s effort to re-align his post as a D1, he moved his friend Mr. S into an unofficial post as Deputy Security Chief and proposed that while he was made a D1 that Mr. S be made a P-5 in the process.

Mr. T. went so far as to have Mr. S. drafted his own individual new and approved Terms of Reference, TOR, as Deputy Chief. But with the failure of Mr. T. to realize his dream of D1, Mr. S. re-thought and did not press for his post to be re-aligned. Once the realization of his dismal failures became evident Mr. T. formally wrote to his friend JAB as his Deputy Security Chief and in spite of the fact that the post is entirely fictitious but anyway, he was now, appointed him in his stead as he prepared for his demoted repositioning to Belgrade. There is a story within a story here to be told.

Ah, it is indeed good to be King.

As Deputy Security Chief

Mr. S. manages, if what he does can truly be called management, the important MOSS supports funds for UNDP. Where have all the millions of dollars gone (over $11,000,000 so far) when our friends in Algeria worked from a non-compliant office and paid the ultimate price. Did Mr. S. do anything to ensure that adequate measures were in place? Did he authorize the finances to make the necessary changes? What about the other offices around the world? It is a lot of money Mr. S. how did you spend it? Did your good friend in Moldovia get his piece whilst Algeria sat at risk?

Carla Naude.

Ms. Naude, is perhaps the best qualified of the South African Mafia although her portfolio is focused that of premises security. Ms. Mafiosa sits in a nice P4 post having no previous UN experience no field security experience and now finds herself responsible for covering Mr. S. as he tries to dodge the bullets for Algeria and the $11,000,000 of funds spent so far to ensure security compliance for our offices worldwide. The question becomes Will she do it? and what does she owe Mr. S. or his predecessor?

Mr. Scotty Saunders.

Another friend of Mr. T. and Mr. S. This South African is the arrogant and undermining Senior Field Security Advisor for Iraq and as usual for the South African Mafia does not possess the required education or background to achieve such an important and well positioned post. He also serves as a nice L4. Maybe his on-line effort to gain the education he lacks will qualify him for a comfortable P5 or D1 in the future.

Mr. Johannes Vandermervwe.

Mr. V not surprisingly comes from UNOPS where he worked on de-mining programmes. Having no security background apart from his years in the South African military as an engineer (certainly no pattern) it is understandable that he was the perfect selection for the coveted UNDP Regional Security Officer posted in Bangkok.
Mr. Vandermerve, With his wife having to depart her high-level job at UNOPS, where Mr.'s T., S. and V. worked on de-mining programmes together allowed Mr.'s S. and T. to repay Mr. and Ms. Vandermerve by not only selecting Mr. V for the Bangkok post but moreover lobbying for a raise from the normal basic pay for a new L4 and made sure that Mr. V was provided with a full 200 series contact with all of the benefits. This would not seem unusual until you realize that serving security staff in similar positions in the Arab States and African regions were not also provided the same level of contract and had to fight hard almost to the point of contract expiration to gain parity with Mr. V. It was certainly no problem for Mr.'s Terblanche and Swart to get their good friend and co-mafioso in with a nice raise and benefits above the non-South African's in the same positions.

Mr. Johann Poltgieter.

Mr. P., another friend of Mr. Swart has managed to get posted as the Field Security Officer, L3 to UNDP in Israel the West Bank and Gaza, hired through the P.A.P.P. office. Of course it was nice that for this particular recruitment that the UNDP Security Office was not managing the recruitment like before and only guided the selection process since Mr. P. apparently was unsuccessful in several attempts to secure similar posts in UNDP elsewhere due to his lack of experience and failure in the interviews process. Possibly with guidance on how to answer the questions and how to address the questioning of the interview panel from Mr. Swart, and perhaps with even a little added influence as Mr. Swart repositioned the former Advisor for P.A.P.P. to Somalia, from L-3 to L-4, the new post for Mr. Poltgieter was realized.

So it is clear. Of six South Africans in the UNDP Security Office none have had the required security background training or experience that is normally required for these posts. The one at the top of the pile has been removed only to another security post outside of UNDP. The second in the line of succession remains in a fictitious unofficial post placing many of us at risk on a daily basis hoping for his coveted P-5 to materialize. The rest of the South African mafia remains in their posts quietly hoping for Mr. Swart to get promoted and continue the patronage process.

Mr. Swart as the Deputy Chief is responsible for all 'Field Support’, which includes supporting the Regional Security Officers and security support to our country offices. Mr. S. even as a fictitious Deputy Chief has also apparently been granted rights to receive all of the risk reports from the department of safety and security.

It would not take too much research to prove that Mr. Swart must have received the reports that indicated there was a threat against our colleague's offices in Algeria. Did his Regional Security Officer give Mr.Swart any indicators of the risk? With millions of dollars at his fingertips why didn't Mr. Swart use any to help Algeria prepare? Maybe something could have been done. Maybe someone should look at this. But that would mean that UNDP would really be trying to address the failures of Mr. T. and Mr. S. Maybe fewer of our friends in Algeria would have died, or none at all.

Over $11,000,000 has been spent to protect us but still the Algeria tragedy occurs. Everyone seems to get a piece of this pie but where was poor Algeria? Who is next?

It is comforting for the rest of us to now that UN reform and management in UNDP recognizes the value of retaining these uniquely qualified and well-positioned staff who are fully aware of the value of properly addressing national balance after all South Africa is from the South in terms of North & South balance. And of course we can all feel comfortable knowing that the Human Resources effort to place the right people in the right places” includes selecting and assigning non-qualified un-trained and in-experienced managers and security officers to positions where they can provide for UN security and protection.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How democratic are the institutions upon which we depend for the promotion and protection of democracy? (by Leon Kukkuk)

By Leon Kukkuk

  • UNDP, functionally and morally accountable to nobody, drenched in cash and running a global empire, can and does do whatever it pleases. It publishes virtually nothing on any of its activities, and spreads the little of what it does publish over hundreds of websites and in hugely complex, yet incomplete, reports full of self-congratulating back-slapping, meaningless platitudes and unrealistic promises

The truth is that that many of them, especially the international ones, are not democratic at all. In most cases they are not even representative. This may seem to be a bit of a contradiction. It is not as contradictory or as undesirable as it at first appears.

In the international arena, where the notion of elections becomes a practical impossibility, it should not be strange that undemocratic institutions are created with the specific purpose of promoting democracy and the development that is supposed to come with it.

The prime example of one such an institution is the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP is considered to be a very important institution. UNDP is important because it is a $5 billion-a-year program. This is a quarter of the $20 billion-plus that the United Nations Agencies has available annually.

Over and above this it has an important co-ordinating role at the country level, has 135 offices worldwide and operates in more than 160 countries. In poor countries and countries with weak governments the responsibility for development can rest for all intents and purposes with the representative of UNDP in that country. Even UNDP claims for what they are doing can be ambitious.

On most of their websites there is usually a section “What we are doing?” followed by something like: “UNDP collaborates with the Government, UN sister Agencies, Donors, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders in promoting people-centred development and building partnerships to fight poverty through UNDP's core five practice areas: Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction, Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Energy and environment, HIV/AIDS.” Ambitious stuff.

They want us to be democratic, rich, at peace, behaving responsibly and be healthy. Important questions that should therefore be asked are: “What right does UNDP have to do these things?” “How effective are they in doing this?”

In order to answer these questions it may be necessary to debunk a few myths regarding democracy:

• Democracy is not a fantastic system that must be promoted at all cost. The manner in which it gets to be promoted and the institutions that do this, plays at the very least, a pivotal role in justifying why it should be promoted.
• It is maintained that democracies are more peaceful than dictatorships. The two most belligerent countries, by far are Israel and the United States. China is one of the most peaceful and benign of countries.
• Democracies are said to be inherently stable or, if not, they are able to successfully incorporate the instability inherent in politics. The Weimar Republic, under one of the most democratic constitutions of the time, gave birth to Adolf Hitler. Democratic Italy has had 50 or more governments since Mussolini. The bloodiest civil wars in history erupted in Republican Spain and, seven decades earlier, in the United States. Czechoslovakia and the USSR fell apart upon becoming democratic, having survived intact for most of a century as dictatorships.
• Democracies are said to be conducive to economic growth (in fact there cannot be any economic growth without democracy, it is said). In history the fastest economic growth rates go to imperial Rome (in contrast to Republican Rome), Nazi Germany in the years 1933-38, Russia under Stalin, and China after Mao Zedung.

It must be granted though that the most sustained, long-term economic growth goes to the United States. Democracy is not perfect. Democracy is a moral dilemma much more than a practical one. It is about how we do things. It is about being fair, unbiased and reasonable. Democracy is not primarily about making us richer, more peaceful or healthier; it is about making our societies more just and responsible.

It may then be argued that any institution promoting democracy should work to the highest moral standards. In addition, there is no evidence whatsoever that anybody has ever developed anybody else or enforced democracy anywhere. On the contrary, there are dozens of cases in the last generation or so, where countries had intervened, often by force of arms, to reverse and nullify the outcomes of wholly legal and legitimate popular and democratic elections. Often brutal and kleptocratic dictators had been instilled in place of the deposed elected officials.

There are just as many examples of how perfectly viable societies had been destroyed by “development” usually in the form of unfair trade deals and a blind adherence to the “benefits” of “free markets” and then subsequently further undermined by the influx of “development agencies” who brought with them nothing but a range of unrealistic fantasy projects.

So there is a dilemma that needs to be faced here.

An undemocratic agency is created, and given an awful lot of money, and told to promote “democracy” and “development,” concepts that are not defined - and will never be defined - and of which only home-grown examples of success exist. It is quite right to ask whether UNDP need to exist at all. Why should we trust them? It is not possible that they can be subjected to periodic elections.

The only alternative is to rely on a number of oversight structures that should be in place. These include, but are not limited to a judiciary, audits, oversight committees, access to information and an independent and respected media. The oversight structures should demonstrate that what they do have, or are supposed to have, is legitimacy.

This legitimacy should be based on the quality of their work and on the quality of the people that they employ. UNDP need to make very clear exactly what purpose it is intended to serve and for whom it is intended. They need to be forthright in just how well they are discharging their duties, and what their projects are really doing under such vague labels as “governance,” “empowerment,” and “capacity building.”

Legitimacy, like credibility, is a fragile thing. It takes effort and hard work to earn, but can vaporise in an instant. Unfortunately anecdotal evidence emerged several decades ago of UNDP as corrupt and inept and was never followed up. Or, at least, everybody just knew that they were inept and corrupt, but nobody was allowed to talk about it.

This was followed slowly by a small trickle of publicly available information that has turned in the last few years into a torrent. Articles and allegations raise problems in various UNDP country offices, many of them going back for years. Without being encyclopaedic about the current issues they include North Korea, Burma, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Russia, Ivory Coast, DRC, Afghanistan, Somalia. It is by no means the entire list. They involve disregard for rules, intrigues, punishment of whistle-blowers, improper staffing, weak audits, selling improper travel documents, and assisting diamond-dealing and other dubious involvements in war-torn or struggling countries.

At UNDP headquarters, allegations involve a meaningless transparency policy, poor governance in a compliant UNDP Executive Board, UNDP management refusal to supply audit reports to that board, inadequate internal audit work, manipulation of Internet blogs, belligerent top leadership, stonewalling on major issues, serious financial management control problems, and rejection of established UN policies and an insistence on an independent operational status.

A survey in 2004 of staff integrity produced surprisingly negative comments on UN leadership and the management culture. (It is true that the whole of the United Nations system is facing a crisis of credibility but concerns have overwhelmingly come to focus on UNDP.)

In addition we are told that the officials working for this agency, as is the case for all United Nations staff, benefits from international immunity. Not to worry, we are told, the UN has its own justice system. All we can rely on is the fact that these internal justice systems work. But a panel of respected legal experts, hired by the staff union to examine the UN’s internal “judicial” system, reported two years ago that the UN is in violation of its own human-rights standards. States enjoy separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judiciary.

International organizations tend to run these concepts together through a unique governance system which provides the official in charge of the international organisation a wide discretion to make decisions without consultation with any board of directors or parliament. One consequence is an absence of adequate checks and balances inside international organizations. The justice system becomes hopelessly politicized and, thus, biased, distrusted, and compromised. The UN judiciary, especially, is in a state of decrepit decline as unqualified beneficiaries of patronage join the ranks.

IO Watch report that “Only one serious investigation of (UN) corruption problems has ever been made, in 1992, but there are many other investigatory articles stretching far back into the past and recently appearing much more frequently. The UN has even been labelled by one close and knowledgeable observer as "probably the most unaccountable organization in the world.” This inadequate regulation of international organisation activities contribute to a legal gap where corruption goes without prosecution unless picked up by conscientious journalists or even more rarely by individual UN officials who pursue the cases as “private” efforts. There is even the ridiculous pronouncement of the International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal in its February 2007 Judgment N° 2611, consideration 8, rejecting the application of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to international organizations. Nevertheless, a former judge on the UN and World Bank Administrative Tribunals, Judge C. Amerasinghe, very clearly states that international organisations are directly subject to all international human rights instruments.

UNDP’s funding also does not come from clear and easily monitored contributions. It comes from various arrangements with a motley assortment of UN member states, shadowy trust funds, some financed with public money, some private; some for specific purposes, some not.

Under a policy known as “National Execution,” (NEX) UNDP lends itself as a secretive and diplomatically immune vehicle for transferring funds around the globe. Vague arrangements, “cost sharing” and Trust Funds circulate money from local governments to a complex web of favoured contractors and consultants, via the UNDP bureaucratic labyrinth, at times without the knowledge or authorisation of those governments. Complex internal arrangements obscure administrative and operational boundaries.

At UNDP - Audits are strange, irregular affairs that cast cursory glances at oddly defined little bureaucratic boxes but ignore the relationships between them. Both the origin and final destination of funds quickly disappear under a mountain of paperwork of astonishing complexity. It is a set-up that invites only cronyism, corruption and abuse.

UNDP, functionally and morally accountable to nobody, drenched in cash and running a global empire, can and does do whatever it pleases. It publishes virtually nothing on any of its activities, and spreads the little of what it does publish over hundreds of websites and in hugely complex, yet incomplete, reports full of self-congratulating back-slapping, meaningless platitudes and unrealistic promises. Meaningful budget details, audit results and independent recommendations are nowhere to be found.

Its one-dimensional over-simplification of complex development issues; its heartless lack of empathy for staff, beneficiaries and partners; and bloated sense of entitlement is in stark contrast to its missionary zeal on the transformation, willy-nilly, of their erstwhile charges into paragons of democracy and good governance.

Any form of criticism is invariably rejected out-of-hand as insignificant affairs dreamed up by those hostile to the UN and the media. The member states of the UN are routinely blamed as responsible for UNDP dysfunction. The antagonism between UNDP and everybody outside their little bubble is often palpable. Their arrogance and obtuse refusal to engage in soul searching and house cleaning do little to ameliorate this antagonism.

Perhaps the most central elements of this UNDP situation can be found in serious troubles uncovered in the UNDP office in North Korea in early 2007, which led Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to call for a “world-wide audit of all programmes and funds.” Trouble started when Artjon Shkurtaj, UNDP’s Chief of Operations and Security in North Korea (2004-2006) witnessed a range of UNDP abuses such as the funnelling of hard cash to the rogue regime of Kim Jong Il. He reported the issues to his superiors at UNDP. He was told not to make trouble. Finally Shkurtaj blew the whistle outside UNDP. UNDP then sacked him.

Fortunately, the UN has made provision for such situations. Kofi Annan had set up an Ethics Office, housed in the Secretariat and reporting to the secretary-general. Among other things, the Ethics Office is tasked to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. So Shkurtaj took his case to the UN Ethics Office protesting that he had been sacked in retaliation for his whistle-blowing. There, the ethics director, Robert Benson, a Canadian, finally produced a confidential memo addressed to the head of UNDP, Administrator Kemal Dervis, and copied to Ban and a number of others. He saw grounds that “a prima facie case had been established” that UNDP was punishing Shkurtaj for his whistle blowing. Mentioning “independent and corroborative information” for his finding, Benson supported Shkurtaj.

UNDP officials denied this, saying that he was on a short-term contract that had simply expired. By now the promised “world-wide audit of all programmes and funds,” after many delays, had shrunk to become only a single audit of the North Korea office.

On 01 June 2007 UNDP issued a statement regarding the preliminary audit report on UN operations in North Korea saying: “UNDP will be transmitting a formal management response to the ACABQ shortly. UNDP would welcome a continuation of the audit process, including a visit by the UNBOA to DPRK. UNDP looks forward to the final audit report.” This audit itself was stonewalled, but did manage to find violations of UNDP regulations. Eventually this was tacitly acknowledged, then swept under the carpet by the UNDP management.

In a letter sent to UNDP, Mark Wallace, the US State Department ambassador at the UN for management and reform, wrote that the auditors’ testimony shows it is “impossible” for the agency to verify whether its funds “have actually been used for bona fide development purposes or if the DPRK [North Korea] has converted such funds for its own illicit purposes.”

Paradoxically enough, neither Wallace nor the U.S. government were allowed copies of the audits, which are considered “management tools” by UNDP and not even available to the governments that finance the organization. It also turns out that UNDP, which has no ethics office of its own, is refusing to recognize the jurisdiction of the UN Secretariat’s Ethics Office, promising instead that they will be making their own arrangements for a “complementary external review” that would cover both its North Korea operations and Shkurtaj’s allegations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed all of this with UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis, but none of the substance of these discussions is publicly available.

Kemal Dervis has also not held a press conference since December 2006. He is simply not available to provide some sort of clarity on what is going on. On 11 September 2007 the International Herald Tribune reported that: “UNDP and other specialized UN agencies intend to meet later this month to try to define standards for whistle-blowers, since the entities contend they do not fall under UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's ethics office.” UNDP did not bring up this point when the Ethics Office was created in 2005.

They did not even mention it when they became aware that this office was investigating one of their decisions. It only became an issue when this office made a decision that they did not like.

Maybe it should be pointed out that the UNDP Operations Manual, Article 1.1 Point 2. states: “The UNDP mission statement emphasizes that, as part of the United Nations, UNDP upholds the vision of the United Nations Charter.” This capricious inconsistency casts the sincerity of UNDP in grave doubt - and in sharp relief its unreliability and disloyalty, its short term thinking, reduced attention span, defensive mentality and dangerous, “black and white” simplicity. The fact is that it is entirely devoid of memory.

Each time yet another scandal crops up, UNDP acts with the utmost surprise and indignation as if they had never before been caught with their grubby little paws in the financial cookie jar. And in each instance a convenient scapegoat is found: the whistleblowers, John Bolton, the UN member states and now; even the rules.

There is something strangely contradictory here. Either the ethics promoted by the UN Ethics Office for some or other reason does not apply to UNDP. UNDP then needs to clarify, and do so quickly, which ethics exactly it is that do apply to them. Alternatively the ethics apply to them but they want it enforced in a different manner to the “best practices” already promulgated by the UN Ethics Office. It may well be that the UN Ethics Office has no jurisdiction over them although the ethics still apply and the best practices still apply. They just want to do things differently.

Why? Might it be that they simply want to promote more of the same unnecessary duplication and redundancy that has made the system so opaque in the past?

It simply wants to add yet more layers of intransigent and obscure bureaucracy to an already unwieldy mammoth. They may well be afraid that somebody may just spot the real problem and be outraged enough to demand real solutions. It is just another excuse to remain openly and unapologetically corrupt and ridden with nepotism and cronyism.

Why?

This self-righteous and cavalier attitude towards justice would have been more tolerable if UNDP meant and practiced what it preached. But nowhere has UNDP ever created any development. There are two reasons for it:

1. Its managers don’t know what the substance of development is and how to create it, and
2. The immorality of so many of their bureaucrats contradicts their pious and simplistic message of development.

All the programmes of that institution are expensive and dishonest. Their beautiful words hide immoral purposes. The IO Watch website suggests that “UNDP is, for most practical purposes, morphing from a development agency into a species of highly privileged rogue state - operating, it seems, outside any jurisdiction.”

The truth is that UNDP is simply behaving with remarkable consistency as exactly the sort of institution that it is and had been for a while. It is a crime syndicate. A significant proportion of its staff are criminals plundering a vast resource of ready cash. They are not going to give it up without a fight.

*****Further Reading IO Watch The International Herald Tribune The UN Forum Eye on the UN Inner City Press ReformtheUN.org The Government Accountability Project (GAP) The Center for the Accountability of International Organizations (CAIO) The Global Policy Forum

In Uzbekistan, UN Development Program Abandons Local Hire to Torture by Karimov

In Uzbekistan, UN Development Program Abandons Local Hire to Torture by Karimov

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
http://www.innercitypress.com/uzbekundp122407.html

UNITED NATIONS, December 24 -- While in Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov celebrates his claim of receiving 88% of the vote for president, over candidates who each issued endorsements of Karimov, the lack of support by the UN Development Program for one of its employees in Uzbekistan who has been charged with espionage and sentenced to 25 years in prison has been called into question.

On the election, Inner City Press on December 24 asked the Office of the Spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon if he would have any comment on the Uzbek election. The answer was that, with a few exceptions, he does not comment on elections, but rather sends a letter when the leader is inaugurated -- in Karimov's case, in less than two months.

Inner City Press has previously asked UNDP about its engagement with the Karimov regime, which it helps to collect taxes and, apparently, to censor the Internet. UNDP's resident representative Fikret Akcura has responded to Inner City Press than human rights are not a part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

Apparently not. In late 2004 Uzkek Erkin Musaev, after serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in Karimov's ministry of defense, was hired by UNDP. Insiders opine that UNDP frequently hires ex-government officials to try to curry favor with the former employers. It did not work in this case. Following the anti-Karimov uprising at Andijan in May 2005, Karimov had a wide range of people arrested, including Musaev. In a letter to his sister, Musaev describes being tortured to confess:

"They said if I do not agree with this accusation they will accuse me [of] sister, Mr Musaev told how he has been tortured in an attempt to obtain a confession from him of drugs trafficking and personal involvement in the Islamic movement. They said they can put literature or drugs in my house […] and accuse me on this [basis]."

In a trial without a lawyer, Musaev was convicted of spying for the U.S. and for the United Nations, and given a sentence of 15 years. Six years were added in a second proceeding, in which Musaev was charged with financial fraud at UNDP. With UNDP providing no assistance, and claiming that Musaev was not a staff member, only a contract employee -- a distinction also proffered regarding the whistleblower about UNDP's close relations with the Kim Jong-il government in North Korea -- Musaev's family reached out to a retired Dutch general Ton Kolsteren who had worked with Musaev in a joint program between former Soviet states and NATO. In March 2007, Gen. Kolsteren reportedly sent a petition to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as to UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis and Associate Administrator Ad Melkert.

Karimov votes, UNDP and Musaev not shown

Melkert belatedly responded that Musaev was not a member of UNDP staff, and referred to "the necessity to maintain a working relationship with the Uzbek government on an ongoing basis." Apparently Melkert and UNDP think this requires looking the other way when a local hire is hauled before a kangaroo court, charged with spying for the UN based on a confession obtained by torture, and given a multi-year sentence.

On December 17, Inner City Press attempted to pose questions to Ad Melkert in the UN General Assembly lobby. Many UN officials take and answer questions this way. But Mr. Melkert, who once when asked by Inner City Press about transparency said "you ain't seen nothing yet," now rushes by with no answers. "I have to get to the ice bridge," he said on December 17, a rush belied by his companion stopping to get suggestions about coverage and about art. Well, a week later all that is left of the ice bridge outside the General Assembly is two medicine ball-sized chunks of ice. If answers emerge, they will be reported on this site.
* * *

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Documentation on Herfkens-Melkert affair

pressured from the world media interest on Eveline (Eva-Leonie) Herfkens case, Ad Melkert and UNDP's spokesperson David Morrison, today committed the ultimate fraudulent act. They completely destroyed the:

Personnel File#: EVELINEHER-001
Vendor Nr#: 0000004065

Last night, David Morrison gave the following statement to one of European Newspapers:

- "Ms. Herfkens contract was only for six months from July 2007 - December 2007. The ACP (UNDP's procurement committee) had only cleared her contract for 6 months"

Now let's try to see how Morrison's statement match the reality of EVA-LEONIE (EVELINE).


We are publishing today the letter of resignation of EVELINE dated 16 March 2007, and effective 31 March 2007.

We have noted in green and red how she broke the rules.

Rule Nr. 1: "UN Employees in full-time contracts under 100/200 Series are not allowed to apply for United States Green Card, unless they opt out of their contractual status with the United Nations before they begin the process of green Card."
Rule Nr. 2: "Employees should notify immediately their respective Human Resource Officer on their intention to change their legal status in United States of America, prior to commence the process of application.."

So EVELINE, a Dutch with a Dutch Diplomatic Passport decided to give up her nationality and apply for the United States Green Card as well as for a United States Travel Document (predecessor to US Passport).

She admits that by the time of the letter - 16 March 2007, she had already obtained the Employment Authorization and Travel Authorization. So how far in advance (before March 2007) did Eveline apply for her Green Card ?

For those who have gone thru the process of Immigration in the United States, everyone know very well the timing that takes for a green card to be processed. It takes at least:

- 6 months if you are Girlfriend/Boyfriend of some big shot in Washington; or
- 20 years if you are a Mexican that walked thru the borders down south.

So let's say that, EVELINE doesn't look Mexican and definitely she didn't walk thru the southern border.

But we need to know:

1. WHO IS EVELINE that got so much attention from the United States Government to deserve an overnight Green Card, Employment Authorization and Travel.

2. WHAT HAVE EVELINE done for the United States during her tenure at Dutch Government or at the UN for that matter that gave her the special status of "person with special abilities".

If we were Dutch government - would be scared of the multiple scenarios of who Eveline might be. Does she still have her Dutch Diplomatic Passport? Does the Dutch Government think she should continue to keep one?

Let's see what lies would David Morrison come this time.

We will come back with much more on Eveline. Of yeah - much more.

Where is NetAid Money David Morrison?

Good Morning Mr. Morrison,

UNDP closed its books on 15th December 2007, and Darshak Shah and Julie Anne Mejia wrote-off 48 million dollars as loss-investments of UNDP in NetAid during the past 4 years, with a note to file that: "NetAid was taken over from Mercy Corp International in late January 2007".


How can you be the public face of UNDP Mr. Morrison ? Aren't you ashamed of yourself ?


Your gross-miss management, leadership ignorance and corrupt behaviour has led to UNDP loosing 45 Million dollars in tax-payers funds for this MEGA-FAILURE called NetAid.


How many poor people did NetAid help to come out of poverty under your leadership ?


What is your relation with Mercy Corps International Mr. Morrison ?


With the help of Darshak's personal advisers at 4th floor FF building, UNDP watch will be publishing the total accounting books of NetAid. Including all publicity contracts NetAid-UNDP awarded during the years.


Meanwhile, please stop telling Fridakis & Friends to start yet another terror campaign to find out who got the files of NetAid out.


We are watching Mr. Morrison.


North Korea's Terrorist Ties? Hezbollah's Uncut $100 bills?

December 14, 2007

North Korea's Terrorist Ties? Hezbollah's Uncut $100 bills?

by Claudia Rosett at PajamasMedia

In its efforts this year to appease North Korea, the State Department has already engaged in enough contortions to earn Condoleezza Rice and special envoy Chris Hill top billing at the Cirque du Soleil. This includes State’s finagling toward removing Kim Jong Il’s regime from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Now comes a Congressional Research Service report listing fresh open source news “from reputable sources” of recent North Korean support for terrorist groups, including Hezbollah. Among these items, the CRS report cites a French internet publication, Paris Intelligence Online, as reporting in Sept. 2006 on an “extensive” North Korean program which began in the 1980s with Hezbollah cadres going from Lebanon to North Korea for training, and expanded after 2000 with North Koreans coming to Lebanon “to provide arms and training to Hezbollah.”

According to this account, the North Koreans helped Hezbollah develop the underground network of bunkers for storing weapons, food, and so forth, which Hezbollah used in the war it launched on Israel in the summer of 2006.

Such stories are hell to prove. And in the rush to please Pyongyang, our top diplomats seem so lost in fantasy these days that I’m not sure facts would sway them anyway. So let’s engage in a bit of whimsy. Given North Korea’s long record of counterfeiting U.S. currency, that story of North Koreans tutoring Hezbollah sure does call to mind an intriguing scene from one of Hezbollah’s strongholds in southern Lebanon, which flashed through the war news in the summer of 2006. Remember that film clip aired by NBC, meant to focus on the destruction wrought by an Israeli attack on Sidon? — except in panning across the debris, the NBC camera also happened to show what looked like a stack of sheets of uncut $100 bills. Opinionjournal’s James Taranto noted it at the time, and Little Green Footballs put up a post with a still-viable link to the film clip.

Do these dots deserve connecting? I don’t know. But if anyone out there wants to write a thriller about this gang, there are the makings here of a pretty good plot.

Outsiders Have Access to U.N. Development Program's Financial Management System

Outsiders Have Access to U.N. Development Program's Financial Management System


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


By George Russell

The United Nations Development Program, already mired in controversy for its dealings with North Korea, now faces another scandal involving the people who spend its $5.2 billion annual budget — and shut down its computerized financial management system yesterday when confronted by FOX News about their activities.


The new scandal involves UNDP’s headquarters financial unit, where checks are signed and purchase orders are approved for its sprawling operations world-wide.


Since the last week of June, FOX News has learned, investigators from the United Nations’ watchdog Office of Internal Oversight Services, or OIOS, have been probing the financial unit for evidence of hiring irregularities and violations of UNDP financial rules.


And already there are some themes similar to the six-month battle over UNDP operations in North Korea: evidence of unauthorized personnel working in sensitive positions that — according to its own regulations — should only be held by UNDP staff; payments with puzzling authorizations that total nearly $2 million; service providers whose employees may violate important UNDP rules and regulations.


FOX News has also learned from UNDP insiders that critical files may have disappeared out of reach of investigators.


This was coupled with dramatic, sudden, and secretive shut-downs of UNDP’s computers in the wake of FOX News email queries Tuesday about the situation.


Indeed, something like a covert scramble began within UNDP on Tuesday in the wake of the arrival of the FOX News questions.


At first, a UNDP press spokesman declared that there had been a delay in receiving the questions, directed to the top echelon of UNDP officials, due to a computer shutdown.
But by that time FOX News had already received telephone confirmation of receipt of the emails from the office of UNDP administrator Kemal Dervis, the organization’s CEO. Those emails included copies of the questions sent to the three top UNDP officials under Dervis.


Just two hours later, however, at 3:37 p.m. on Tuesday, UNDP employees told FOX News that there was a sudden shutdown of UNDP’s computerized financial management system —which coincided with an emergency senior staff meeting that took place in the 21st floor office of UNDP’s No. 2 official, Ad Melkert. (Melkert himself was traveling outside the country; the meeting was chaired by Melkert’s chief of staff, Tegegnework Gettu.)


FOX News was unable to learn what took place in the emergency meeting, or how long it lasted. But at 6:22 p.m., much — but not all — of UNDP’s computer systems came back on line.
With one significant exception. The portions of UNDP’s proprietary financial software system that deal with personnel assignments, personnel records, and access to financial tasks, remained blocked to almost everyone who normally uses those parts of the system, until at least 2 a.m.
The sudden cloak of secrecy was significant, because the new internal investigation centers precisely on the central financial bureau at the heart of UNDP where that financial software is used — a bureau that is directly under the supervision of the agency’s top-most officials.It is known as the UNDP’s Office of Finance and Administration (OFA), which is headed by UNDP’s No. 4 official, Comptroller Darshak Shah, a 10-year UNDP veteran. OFA, with 84 employees, is responsible for managing the cash flow of the entire UNDP — an organization with more than 8,000 employees whose budget grew from $4 billion to $5 billion between 2000 and 2004, and is expected to grow by another 40% by 2015.


Whatever money UNDP has flows out of OFA to its operations in 190 countries world wide — and to a network of suppliers who provide everything from consultants to foodstuffs to train locomotives for development projects around the world.


Financial controls at OFA are supposedly tight — under UNDP rules, only full-time staff members are supposed to have access to the UNDP’s proprietary financial accounting and disbursement system, known as ATLAS. But that is the rule that is now being violated.
All of which deepens the drama now surrounding UNDP and its relationship with a job placement agency known as Professional Financial Temporaries, Inc.—or PRO-FIT, as it calls itself on its website, http://www.accountancyatprofit.com/.


According to UNDP payment records obtained by FOX News, PRO-FIT has received more than $1.9 million in payments from UNDP since January 2005 alone. Those payments cover the salaries, benefits and other expenses — plus, of course, profit — for PRO-FIT for a variety of employees who are working at UNDP in the Office of Finance and Administration. Those employees’ salaries are not paid by UNDP, but by PRO-FIT itself, which also hires and fires the personnel.


The full number of PRO-FIT employees in the department is not known, though some UNDP insiders place it as high as 31 — or more than a third of the staff. Most are in lower-level clerical or accountancy jobs, but at least several perform functions such as financial disbursement which are supposedly performed only by regular U.N. staffers.


At least seven of the 31 outsiders have log-ins that allow them to operate within the agency’s ATLAS financial system as the equivalent of regular UNDP personnel, in violation of UNDP regulations.


FOX News has obtained ATLAS user IDs for the PRO-FIT employees that confirm their presence in the financial software system, and their roles, which include the ability to approve certain types of financial transactions and move financial deposits within the UNDP’s worldwide system. Along with the IDs, FOX News has obtained copies of PRO-FIT hourly time-sheets filled out by OFA workers and transmitted to PRO-FIT’s Manhattan fax number.


Moreover, FOX News has obtained OFA data recording scores of UNDP payments to PRO-FIT since January 2005. Significantly, none of the payments hit the threshold of $100,000 that is a benchmark for oversight by higher levels of UNDP management. But in a significant number of cases, the monthly totals for the payments easily exceed the $100,000 threshold. And the totals for 2005, 2006, and so far in 2007 all exceed that mark handily.


(Among the items paid there is a particularly unusual one: an invoice numbered 00040679, and dated April 26, 2006. It notes “placement fees” totaling $12,715 for an individual named Fatima Ba — a name almost identical to that of Administrator Dervis personal assistant, Fatimata Ba. Questioned by FOX News about her possible relationship with PRO-FIT, Fatimata Ba would only say that she “did not know” if such a relationship existed, and referred FOX News to the UNDP press office.)


PRO-FIT founder and president Alvin Galland declined to answer any questions from Fox News. (An associate who answered PRO-FIT’s telephone said that Galland “was about to go on vacation.”)


There is an even deeper mystery involving PRO-FIT — how it came to provide such sensitive, and possibly forbidden, services to UNDP that insiders say stretch back more than a decade, without any competitive rebidding of the contract for those services. (PRO-FIT itself, according to its website, was founded in 1996.)


Under UNDP regulations, all competitive contracts must be put up for rebidding every 36 months, but according to UNDP insiders, there are no records of the rebidding of the PRO-FIT contract within at least the past 48 months.


Moreover, insider sources have told FOX News that there is no sign at all of a PRO-FIT contract in UNDP’s legal files dating back for the past four years.


There is at least one piece of evidence that the PRO-FIT relationship stretches back beyond 2004. It’s date of registration in the ATLAS system is January 1, 1901; UNDP insiders explain that ATLAS was created in 2004 and any contracts preceding that time were given the same 1/1/1901 date.


Who authorized the deal with PRO-FIT, and who has been aware of it since that time?
Spending on the order of UNDP’s payments to PRO-FIT usually requires approval at the highest levels of the organization. For purchases of more than $100,000, only UNDP officials with the rank of Director and Assistant Secretary General and above are allowed to grant approval, with the required agreement of a special contract approval committee, known as the Advisory Committee on Procurement, or ACP.


Major purchases are also supposed to be open automatically for competitive bidding, with a rare number of exceptions.


There are at least some theoretical possibilities that the PRO-FIT contract escapes some of the regular UNDP rules. Some UNDP contracts, for example, are considered long-term, and exempt from the rebidding rule. But an examination by FOX News of records of the UNDP’s long term contracts, which are kept on the agency’s internal website, does not include the PRO-FIT deal among them. (FOX News obtained a duplicate image of the website at the time of examination in the event of subsequent tampering.)


UNDP financial rules also allow considerable authority to the organization’s Chief Procurement Officer to create contracts at his or her own discretion, without competitive bidding, so long as the reason is recorded in writing. But that discretion does not extend to granting outsiders access to the UNDP financial control system, ATLAS, which is expressly forbidden under UNDP rules.


UNDP’s Chief Procurement Officer is Akiko Yuge, the agency’s Deputy Assistant Administrator, and No. 3 official. FOX News queries to Yuge regarding the use of any discretionary authority in regard to PRO-FIT have so far gone unanswered.


Similar email questions were put by FOX News to Darshak Shah, head of OFA, along with questions about his awareness of outsiders having access to his office’s most sensitive financial record system. Shah acknowledged receipt of the questions, but said only that “UNDP will revert back to you soon.”


Additional questions sent to Ad Melkert and Kemal Dervis received no reply, beyond an advisory that Melkert was traveling until July 11.


But even without competitive bidding, UNDP purchases must observe safeguards. Any contract of $100,000 or more that is approved without bidding in a unit such as the Office of Financial Administration requires the specific approval of the Chief Procurement Officer — in this case, Deputy Associate Administrator Yuge — and it also requires review and endorsement by the Advisory Committee on Procurement, which Yuge chairs.


Questions to Yuge about whether the procurement committee was ever involved in reviewing PRO-FIT’s contract went unanswered.


The fact that outsiders have privileged access to UNDP’s sacrosanct financial software is not merely a breach of its most important financial rules. It raises the possibility that outsiders whose presence is known to UNDP’s senior management can enter, alter and delete data from the ATLAS record system — precisely the circumstance that the staffers-only access to ATLAS is intended to prevent.


That possibility is particularly sensitive at a time when UNDP has been locked in a bitter dispute with the U.S. government over the transfer of hard currency to the dictatorial government of Kim Jong Il, and, according to the U.S. mission to the United Nations transfers of sums totaling millions to North Korean entities that have a relationship to the country’s illicit nuclear weapons program.


Some of the U.S. accusations have been based on data obtained from the UNDP’s proprietary

financial systems, samples of which were revealed to UNDP officials in closed door sessions. UNDP officials have in turn leaked stories claiming that the U.S. data samples differ from entries in those systems, with the clear implication that the U.S. information has been altered or otherwise falsified. The presence of outsiders with privileged and theoretically forbidden access to ATLAS, however, raises the possibility that UNDP itself could be altering data.


The sudden shutdown of UNDP computer access in the areas involving personnel records, duties and ATLAS access IDs further underlines that possibility.


If so, the issues surrounding UNDP may no longer involve just the violation of vital rules and procedures. In light of the investigations underway into the Office of Finance and Management, the issues may include obstruction of the United Nations’ own system of justice.
UPDATE


After publication of FOX News’ story, various U.N. officials have responded to some of the questions posed to them concerning OFA and PRO-FIT. Among other things, the officials state that OFA currently has 117 employees, of whom 101 are staff and 16 contracted workers. Of the 16, 10 are said to be employees of PRO-FIT, while "the other six come from three other external companies."


According to U.N. Chief Procurement Officer Akiko Yuge, the contract for PRO-FIT was approved after a "competitive bidding process" in 1998. The contract was approved under an arrangement known as a Reimbursable Loan Agreement, which allows UNDP to pay outside companies for the services of temporary employees, and does not, Yuge says, require further competitive bidding. "UNDP believes that to date it has received value for money from PRO-FIT," she added.


Even so, Yuge said, OFA has already changed its ways. After deciding "some time ago" to undertake a "new competitive process" for the kind of services PRO-FIT offers, she said, "the bidding process took place three months ago and is currently under review."
FOX News has examined the UNDP procurement Web site where competitive bidding exercises are announced and posted. There is no record on the site of any posting for the services offered by PRO-FIT during the time period Yuge mentions.


Yuge’s claim about the date of UNDP’s relationship with PRO-FIT is contradicted to some degree by answers provided to FOX News by OFA head Darshak Shah. He declared that "PRO-FIT has provided services to UNDP since the mid 1990s." He did agree with Yuge that the deal was finalized under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement, or RLA, "under the authority delegated in accordance with UNDP financial regulations and rules."


FOX News has obtained a copy of the UNDP circular that initially announced the introduction of RLAs. Issued by the UNDP Office of Human Resources, it is dated July 27, 1999 — long after both officials say it was used in the case of PRO-FIT.


Both UNDP officials claim that outside employees at OFA — including those from PRO-FIT — are not forbidden access to the ATLAS financial management system, but are restricted only to data-entry functions.


"PRO-FIT employees in OFA have not been delegated certification and approval functions in ATLAS," Shah asserted.


But UNDP guidelines for hiring short-term help and contractors, which FOX News has examined, explicitly cite ATLAS "access" as a form of "approving or signing authority" that must not be granted to the employee. The same guidelines cover employees under RLAs.
Moreover, UNDP documents, computer log-ins and other information in FOX News’ possession confirm that PRO-FIT employees perform financial approval and other tasks that are supposedly done only by UNDP staffers, as previously reported.


Alvin Galland, the president of PRO-FIT, who initially declined to speak to FOX News, also responded by telephone after the originally story was published. According to Galland, his firm has had a "relationship with UNDP for 13 or 14 years," which would date it to the early 1990s. "We do have contracts, they were competitive, and they were bid," he declared. "I have had nothing but fully professional relations with UNDP."


Galland declined, however, to discuss any specific details of his relationship of his contractual relations with UNDP, suggesting that any such information should come from the international agency.


George Russell is Executive Editor of FOX News.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

U.N. Finds Fraud, Mismanagement in Peacekeeping

U.N. Finds Fraud, Mismanagement in Peacekeeping

Task Force Says 'Multiple Instances' of Corruption Have a Cost of $610 Million

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 18, 2007; A06

UNITED NATIONS -- A U.N. task force has uncovered a pervasive pattern of corruption and mismanagement involving hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for fuel, food, construction and other materials and services used by U.N. peacekeeping operations, which are in the midst of their largest expansion in 15 years.

In recent weeks, 10 procurement officials have been charged with misconduct for allegedly soliciting bribes and rigging bids in Congo and Haiti. It has been the largest single crackdown on U.N. staff malfeasance in the field in more than a decade

The task force has issued a series of public and confidential reports charging that corruption has spread from U.N. headquarters -- where three officials have been convicted in bribery schemes -- to the far reaches of its growing peacekeeping efforts. The task force has also cast a spotlight on the United Nations' repeated failure to take action against officials long suspected of wrongdoing, allowing them to carry out criminal schemes in one U.N. mission after another.
"The task force identified multiple instances of fraud, corruption, waste and mismanagement at U.N. headquarters and peacekeeping missions, including ten significant instances of fraud and corruption with aggregate value in excess of $610 million," said one report by the task force, headed by a former federal prosecutor in Connecticut, Robert Appleton.

The new corruption cases highlight the limits of reforms imposed since the early 1990s, when a previous buildup of peacekeeping missions led to reports of rampant corruption in Cambodia, Somalia and the Balkans. In response, in 1994 the United Nations created the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), but it has a poor record of holding corrupt officials to account.
The recent investigation in Congo revealed "widespread and inherent corruption" throughout the mission's purchasing department. One official targeted in the probe, Abdul Karim Masri, had emerged unscathed from repeated OIOS inquiries into his activities over more than a decade.
The task force charged that Masri, 54, engaged in an "extensive pattern of bribery" during his seven years in Congo, according to a confidential account of the probe.

The unit alleged that Masri accepted a $10,000 bribe from a boating company, steered a lucrative catering contract to a friend, and persuaded one U.N. contractor to paint his apartment and swimming pool at no cost and another to give him a steep discount on a Mercedes-Benz. It also described an effort by Masri to solicit a kickback from a construction executive on a $5.5 million contract to refurbish an airfield in eastern Congo.

"We are the ones deciding the case," Masri told him, according to the account of a meeting at Masri's Kinshasa home. "It's in our hands."

Masri declined repeated requests by e-mail to comment on the findings, saying that U.N. rules do not permit him to "deal with the press." He referred questions to U.N. staff counsel Edwin Nhliziyo, a retired U.N. auditor who served with Masri in Congo.

"He has denied all these allegations," Nhliziyo said. "If the U.N. has the evidence to back all of this stuff up, that is fine. At this point it's just allegations, and he is innocent until proven guilty."
In Haiti, the United Nations charged five employees with misconduct after the task force established that they had steered a $10 million-a-year fuel contract to a Haitian company, Distributeurs Nationaux S.A., according to U.N. officials and confidential documents. The task force has been unable to prove that the five profited from the scheme, citing its lack of authority to subpoena bank records, but it recommended that the case be referred for criminal prosecution by authorities in Haiti or the United States.

U.N. officials privately acknowledge that some malfeasance is inevitable in an organization that processes 12,000 purchase orders in the field each year and buys enough energy to power a city larger than Washington, D.C. They also noted that some previous U.N. corruption crackdowns unraveled under closer examination.

"I don't believe there is, or that [the investigators] have found, a culture out there of fraudulent behaviors," said Philip Cooper, an Australian who administers U.N. peacekeeping missions. "We have our share of malpractice, but we do not have many cases of straight-out fraud like has been found in the Congo."

The latest investigations grew out of the probe into the U.N. Iraqi oil-for-food program by Paul A. Volcker, former Federal Reserve Board chairman. It comes as spending on peacekeeping operations is rising -- from $2.2 billion in 2004 to $7 billion -- supporting a force of more than 100,000 peacekeepers.

Volcker's team helped uncover a bribery scheme by a U.N. procurement officer, Alexander Yakovlev of Russia. Yakovlev pleaded guilty in August 2005 to federal charges that he received nearly $1 million in kickbacks for steering contracts to favored companies.

In response, the United Nations placed eight other officials on administrative leave and created the procurement task force. The Internal Oversight office, meanwhile, brought in new leadership for its investigations division and doubled the number of staff members to about 60, stationing half of them in the field.

In June, the task force, which recruited many of Volcker's investigators, helped federal prosecutors convict one of the eight suspects -- Sanjaya Bahel -- for steering about $100 million in contracts to an Indian state company. Bahel had been cleared by OIOS.

But the task force's mandate will expire on Dec. 31 and its future is uncertain, prompting some of its investigators to leave. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the General Assembly to fund the task force for another year to pursue a backlog of cases, but a bloc of developing countries has refused to approve the request, calling for more debate. A U.N. budget committee, responding to pressure from the developing countries, will probably finance the task force for six months -- a move that officials warn could undermine efforts to retain the investigators.

Singapore has also criticized the task force for allegedly trampling the rights of one of its nationals, Andrew Toh, a senior U.N. official who said he was denied access to legal counsel.
"What bothers us is the task force itself seems to think it can be exempted from the same standard that it wants to apply to other people," said Singapore's U.N. ambassador, Vanu Gopala Menon.

Appleton maintains that there is no recognized right to counsel for internal investigations and that Toh never requested it. "There was absolutely no transgression of due process rights," he said.

Toh is the target of a lengthy investigation into whether he improperly helped two Peruvian generals and a Canadian company, Skylink Aviation, secure a multimillion-dollar contract to lease two MI-26 Peruvian government helicopters for the U.N. mission in East Timor. The task force has been unable to prove that Toh accepted bribes, but it says it cannot close the case until it gets access to Skylink's Swiss bank account used in the helicopter deal.

Toh was recently demoted, fined two months' pay, and charged with misconduct for not fully cooperating with investigators and not complying with an obligation to disclose all of his financial holdings. "They have taken 22 months to look into allegations of corruption, they've scoured the world, wasted thousands of man-hours, spent millions of dollars, and they are unable to find anything," Toh said.

But even some of the task force's detractors say its probes have been far more rigorous and sophisticated than previous investigations.

In Congo, the task force reached far back into U.N. archives to put together its case against Masri, who began working for the organization in the mid-1980s in Damascus, Syria. Masri's colleagues accused him at the time of falsifying receipts for several vendors, including a cement company, which allowed them to get full payment even though they delivered only a portion of contracted shipments.

A decade later, in Rwanda, investigators probed allegations that Masri steered business to a Dubai-based firm in exchange for kickbacks. Masri also came under suspicion for charging more than $10,000 for water pumps costing $300. OIOS dropped the probe a year later, citing insufficient evidence.

In August 2000, five months after Masri arrived in Congo, rumors of his involvement in corrupt activities there appeared in a local newspaper, l'Avenir. A subsequent OIOS investigation found that a contractor had leased Masri a Mercedes for $250 a month, well below market value. But OIOS did not make a case against Masri, recommending instead that staff members should be transferred "if their behavior does not change to avoid bad press for the organization and its staff."

It was seven more years before Masri was placed on leave and barred from doing U.N. business.

LE TEMPS/LE MONDE: La corruption frappe à nouveau l'ONU

La corruption frappe à nouveau l'ONU
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0,36-992063,0.html

es Nations unies sont secouées par un nouveau scandale de corruption. Une task force de l'ONU a identifié dix cas majeurs de fraude et de corruption représentant une somme totale de 695 millions de francs. L'affaire, révélée par le Washington Post, touche des responsables onusiens, que ce soit au siège de l'ONU ou sur le terrain dans le cadre d'opérations de maintien de la paix en République démocratique du Congo et en Haïti. Les enquêteurs font état d'une "corruption étendue et inhérente au Département d'achat de la mission de maintien de la paix en RDC". Dix responsables des achats ont été inculpés dont Abdul Karim Masri.
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APRÈS LE SCANDALE "PÉTROLE CONTRE NOURRITURE"Ce responsable onusien, qui avait réussi à écarter les soupçons qui pesaient sur lui il y a quelques années, est accusé de s'être engagé dans une "pratique extensive des pots-de-vin" durant ses sept ans au Congo. Selon la task force, il a accepté des pots-de-vin de 10 000 dollars d'une compagnie de bateaux et persuadé un mandataire de l'ONU de peindre gratuitement son appartement et sa piscine. En Haïti, la task force accuse cinq employés d'avoir influencé un contrat portant sur la livraison de pétrole à hauteur de 10 millions de dollars par an à la société haïtienne Distributeurs nationaux SA.
Ces cas surviennent quelques années après le scandale de corruption lié au programme onusien "Pétrole contre nourriture" en Irak ou après que de sérieuses irrégularités de même nature sont apparues dans des missions de maintien de la paix au Cambodge, en Somalie et dans les Balkans. Selon le Washington Post, cela montre les limites des réformes engagées par les Nations unies. Il faut toutefois relever que les opérations de maintien de la paix se sont fortement développées, passant de 2,2 milliards de dollars en 2004 à 7 milliards aujourd'hui. Plus de 100000 Casques bleus sont actuellement sur le terrain.
Stéphane Bussard

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

VICTORY #4: United States Congress cut UNDP funding by 20% for 2008

- $ 31,000,000
(Thirty One Million Dollars)
MAJOR VICTORY ACHIEVED TODAY AT CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES

in a landslide victory the coalition for accountability and transparency of United Nations Funds and Programmes, managed to pass in Congress the Bill with a 20% reduction for US contribution to UNDP.

Despite UNDP spending 1.9 million USD for public relations in fighting back the allegations of wrong-doings in North Korea.

Despite UNDP sending to Washington multiple time all his high-raking officials, from Kemal Dervis, Ad Melkert, David Lockwood, Akiko Yuge, Darshak Shah, as well as his heavy-weight blonde - David Morrison. Only in late November - early December 2007, the trio Darshak - Morrison - Lockwood has spent a week to try to persuade the various investigative committees and have the Congress and Senate not pursue further with their threat of cutting the UNDP funds for 2008.

Despite UNDP's terror campaign against those that speak the truth.

For the very first time since its conception the United States Congress and Senate cuts the funding of UNDP on grounds of lack of transparency and accountability.

This is the text of the Congress Bill for Budget 2008:

b) UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.

4 Twenty percent of the funds appropriated by this Act
5 under the heading "International Organizations and Pro
6 grams" for a United States contribution to the United Na
7 tions Development Program (UNDP) shall be withheld
8 from disbursement until the Secretary of State reports to
9 the Committees on Appropriations that UNDP is-
10 (1) giving adequate access to information to the
11 Department of State regarding UNDP's programs
12 and activities as requested, including in North Korea
13 and Burma;
14 (2) conducting oversight of UNDP programs
15 and activities globally; and
16 (3) implementing a whistleblower protection
17 policy equivalent to that recommended by the United
18 Nations Secretary General on December 3, 2007

Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert should resign immediately. They should hear the voice of the people and the discontent of the American Tax-payers.

Leave now Dervis ! You and Melkert are the most crooked managers UNDP has ever had.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In a climate of terror, fear and intimidation - another Watergate is in the making at UNDP

NetAid's Morrison - explains for Melkert

Melkert and Dervis, caught again in one of the biggest scandals ever in United Nations, have ordered on Monday (12/17/07) that all those involved in the Contract Committee for BRSP and ACP to re-write the history and sign again all papers that they before had to endorse for the Herfkens case.

In a terror day at UNDP, Dervis and Melkert, in a climate of fear, individual persecution and intimidation, demanded that those UNDP staff who were present at the Contract Award Committee for BRSP (bureau for resources and strategic partnership) and PSO-ACP (procurement services) - RE-WRITE THE HISTORY about:

ACP case: ACP/07/0763 (Waiver)
Contract Award: US$ 225,750.00 (Part-Time SSA)
Contractor Name: Eva Leonie Herfkens (Eveline Herfkens)

UNDP staff at Headquarters can finally understand the truth behind the disappearance of all ACP online and the waivers of competitive bids from UNDP Intranet. Dervis and Melkert were burning and destroying all their traces of their corruption. 1.5 Billion dollars worth of WAIVERS of competitive bids, like the one of EVELINE -will never be made public anymore.

The stupidity of Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert reached new levels by lunch time, with restricting access to ACP to the head of Procurement Services - Mr. James Provenzano. Provenzano, who was earlier this year demoted from head of legal and procurement - for standing on ethics grounds and insisting on an independent Ethics Office, found on Monday that he himself had no rights to view cases, and in particular the ACP/07/0763 had disappear from the screen of his computer. Poor James now he has to ask Krishan Batra's password to access the system.

But what can James - a talented lawyer do ? Even UNDP's Staff Council, is no where to be found and cannot stand for the truth, values and protect UNDP staff from this type of humiliation and terror tactics.

But Dervis and Melkert forget that the staff at UNDP has had enough of them and other corrupt managers.







Today thanks to honest staff at BRSP, UNDP Watch obtained another document showing that Ms. Herfkens has been awarded a 12 months contract, from July 2007 - until - July 2008, without any competitive bid or advertising the position. On a post-factum, against all rules and internal processes, only because she has a "special relation" with Ad Melkert, she is awarded this contract.

Eveline's story is only one among the billions of dollars thrown away from mismanagement, abuse of power and corruption at UNDP.

How can we help the poor - with this multi-millionaires inside the UNDP?

Being now an American resident alien, the UNDP Watch call on the United States Government to subpoena Ms. Eveline Herfkens, in her capacity of US Green-Card (resident alien), as well as to subpoena all those American Citizens inside UNDP and initiate an investigation on how all this happened. Who facilitated the immigration paperwork for Eva Leonie Herfkens and what for ? Who knew what and when ? Did she paid tax-es for the US while working at the UN ?

Ms. Eveline Herfkens has lied under contract with the United Nations:

1. as ALD she started the process of her US Green-Card and for more than a year she kept it secret from United Nations the fact that she was in the process of altering her nationality from Dutch - to - American. The UN rules strictly prohibit the hiring of any green-card holders in the United States as a staff or under permanent contract. Only when she got the green-card and was sure that she was a US permanent resident - she disclosed to UNDP (in late March 2007).

2. she kept a GOLD ID with high level security access, eventhough she was in a contract which doesn't allow her to have one.

3. from March 2007 until now she has been venturing and showing herself as a UN High representative, when her contractual status doesn't permit her to neither represent nor speak on behalf of the United Nations, let alone get close to world leaders. She has worked part-time, and even less than part-time - to be remunerated at full time fee of US$ 225,000.

But all this is happening because United Nations have no CEO. No leadership. Ban Ki Moon instead of focusing in enforcing UN rules and regulations within & including UN funds and programmes, has declared that he is not interested in doing that.

One questions where is USUN on this ? How can simple UN staff trust the campaign on transparency and accountability of the United States Mission to the UN, when they turn their heads the other way on a quarter of a million dollars ?



Monday, December 17, 2007

Melkert & Herfkens Affair: new documents revealed

thanks to UNDP Watch connections at Human Resources, we obtained today the TORs of Eva-Leonie Herfkens for 2007.




In the terms of reference EVELINE would: " officially report to the Administrator (in his capacity as UNDG Chair) with a delegated reporting line to the Associate Administrator through quarterly meetings."

US$ 225,000 for a part-time Assistant Secretary General, a "fake Dutch" with an American Green-Card - that would advise UNDP on quarterly meetings. What a disgrace to the United Nations.

Meanwhile the race to clean-up all internal documentation continues. Fridakis and Friends with full support of Darshak and Krishan Batra, from this morning are also being backed-up by Peri Johnson.

Peri's assistant has installed a shredder in her office, Peri is going through the documents and files left behind form her predecessor Jim Provenzano. She's right though, Jim was keeping too much documents no longer needed to the memory of the organization, eventhough the rule say 7 years.

We thank once again all UNDP staff supporting our accountability and transparency initiative. We urge all staff to start sending more of these documents, not only to UNDP Watch, but also to your respective country missions. We need to inform member states on the enormous corruption at the UNDP cupola.

We will come back with more on EVELINE.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How long should the American Tax-payers pay for the Anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism and Racism of Ad Melkert and Kemal Dervis?

When UNDP closed it's accounts in late March 2007, Ad Melkert and Kemal Dervis declared major success that UNDP had managed to get yet another year of great achievements in the fight for poverty eradication around the world.

Let's try to recapitulate what was this success in real money:

1. 139 Million Dollars un-reconciled bank-to-book accounts;
2. 41.2 Million Dollars of un-identified and un-accounted expenditures (LOSS-WRITE-OFF)
3. 3% Loss from wrong bank investments equal to gross 90 Million Dollars;
4. Net-Aid is declared as a loss and was "taken-over" from MERCY CORP INTERNATIONAL in Jan 2007 - Loss of investment from UNDP equal 49 Million Dollars;

Total Loss to World Tax-Payers 309 Million Dollars.

But hey for Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert this is nothing.

Let's take Ad Melkert as example. Ad is a well known world con-artist. When he was Minister of Social Affairs of Holland, under his direct supervision European Union lost 200 Million Euros in the so called European Social Fund for Holland.

To this very day the Dutch tax-payers are paying back the European Union 200 Million Euros that this white-collar-gangster has stolen from EU tax-payers.

But Ad is not only a renown thief, he is also well known as the most anti-semit and anti-American Dutch politician. As described in "Anti-Semitism and Hypocrisy in Dutch Society" by Manfred Gerstenfeld:

  • Political Discrimination
    Political discrimination against Israel is common, particularly by Dutch so-called progressive politicians. One example is the former leader of the Dutch Labor party (PvdA), Ad Melkert, who led his party to one of its greatest defeats in the May 2002 general elections. He proposed in a TV discussion in April 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield in Israel, that all members of the European Union recall their ambassadors from Israel.
    When this was unsuccessful, he proposed in the Lower Chamber of the Dutch Parliament to recall the Dutch ambassador from Tel Aviv. The motion fell one vote short of a majority and was therefore rejected. It was supported by the Labor party and other left-of-center parties.
    Dutch left-wing politicians could have proposed recalling Dutch ambassadors from many other states, had they compared the behavior of those states with that of Israel. The parties which supported Melkert never proposed such a motion. Their attitude reflects profound anti-Israeli bias. Since then, the coalition members in the Iraq War have frequently shown much less concern for Iraqi civilians than Israel does for Palestinian civilians. They have also killed many more than Israel ever did. However, the Dutch Labor party has not proposed recalling any Dutch ambassadors.
    For decades, a standard answer of many accused of classic anti-Semitism was: "Some of my best friends are Jewish." New anti-Semites have developed another version of this motif. When one reproaches them for applying double standards to Israel as compared to other countries, their answer is frequently: "From our friends we expect more than from others."

To this day this bankrupt Dutch Politician has still not publicly acknowledged the major assistance of the Dutch bureaucracy in the preparatory stages of the murder of Dutch Jews by the Germans during the Holocaust.

To this day Ad Melkert in all his speeches has continuously misrepresent the post-war discrimination against the Jews in the Netherlands.

How long should the American Tax-payers pay for the salary of a thief, an anti-American and an anti-semit and a racist?

What is strange though, is that Amb. Khalilzad of the United States at the UN - on one side -criticize the President of Iran for his remarks on Israel and Holocaust,- and on the other side - supports Ad Melkert and Kemal Dervis?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Akiko Yuge orders major clean-up at UNDP on Eveline Herfkens Files


Eveline Herfkens "relation" with Ad Melkert, the number two of UNDP, was the focus of all meetings at UNDP's 21st floor on Friday (14th Dec).

Akiko Yuge was giving orders by phone and in person to everyone. While Ad Melkert hiding from everyone, is reportedly screaming and shouting and ordering that Gettu and Akiko find the person who leaked the file of Eveline Herfkens.

To please Ad, Akiko and Gettu called immediately Peri Johnson, Krishan Batra and Darshak Shah, while OIST arrive late in the meeting.

Krishan Batra was ordered to work closely with OIST to delete permanently all data regarding ACP/07/0763 - Eveline Herfkens. During the meeting Akiko Yuge and Gettu were so adamant about this particular file and ordered the Indian (Krishan Batra) to immediately research all 8th floor for the original submissions with the signatures and wipe them out permanently. They also asked that a Note-to-File from Human Resources and PSO (Procurement) be prepared with a full explanation as to why the decision of hiring Eveline was reached for, putting emphasis on Ad Melkert's being completely extraneous to the matter.

Meanwhile, Akiko gave the order to Darshak Shah and Julie Anne Mejia to immediately wipe all accounts and payments in regard to Eveline Herfkens. Deleting all type of Purchase Orders and specially all type of Travel Authorizations awards to Herfkens. Since it would have been a crime for organization to pay her travel, while she has been granted a lump-sum of US$30,000 in cash to compensate her for travel.

Meantime Akiko ordered the only American at OIST, Steven Fridakis to continue with his SPY software until he finds out who was/were the leak(s).

But will they succeed to wipe out Eva Leonie Herfkens ?

We are watching and we will report every change in the systems ......

Meanwhile UNDP Watch call on all staff to visit ATLAS, under UNDP1, and check for yourself under vendors who Eveline Herfkens (Eva Leonie) is , how many payments she has got so far, and all her travels subsidies. Check her status under HR as well.

The only way to held these corrupt managers accountable is to make public all their corruptions.

Thank you and have a great weekend,

UNDP WATCH

Staff Council Appeal for assistance of Algiers Victims

MESSAGE FROM THE UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS STAFF COUNCIL IN RESPONSE TO THE TRAGEDY IN ALGIERS
Dear Colleagues,

As you all know, quite a number of fellow staff members, friends and colleagues have died and several of them have been injured in the tragic bombing of the UN compound in Algeria. We are giving absolute priority to helping the families of the colleagues we have lost and those injured.

In close cooperation with the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Staff Council an effort through an appeal for assistance is underway for collecting voluntary donations to complement the institutional contribution that is being made. To facilitate the donations the following procedures have been put in place:

For direct donations in cash at NY Headquarters, donation boxes will also be placed at the Regional Bureau for Arab States (DC1-22 floor), and at the entrance of the UNDP Cafeteria (DC1 the 3rd Floor) daily from 9:30-10:30 am and 12:30-2:30 pm starting Monday, 17 December. All donations collected through these boxes will be directed to the UNDP Treasury/Office of Finance.

For check contributions at NY Headquarters, donations may be delivered to UNDP Treasury, FF-478. Should someone prefer to transfer their contribution by wire, please contact Julie Anne Mejia, Treasurer, (212) 906-5690 for further instructions.

For Country Offices, funds should be deposited into the CO bank account (USD checks should be pouched to Treasury for deposit if there is no local USD account). If funds are deposited into the CO bank account the CO should create a pending item using:

- Fund ID 68140 – Algeria Relief Fund
- Generic Donor ID 11098 – Algeria Relief donors

The CO should create a deposit through AR using the generic donor ID 11098 and fund code 00001.

We are UNITED in our profound sorrow and express our solidarity with the families and friends of our dear colleagues. We pay tribute to their courage, personal commitment and strength.

For further questions, please contact the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Staff Council (registry.staff-council@undp.org) and/or Dima Al-Khatib (dima.al-khatib@undp.org)

Thank you for your contributions and support.
UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Staff Council

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ad Melkert awards $300 Thousand for his "fake Dutch" party-woman-friend

After sinking Paul Wolfowitz for awarding a contract to his girl-friend, Ad Melkert awards $300 thousand contract to his party-woman-friend from Holland.

Today we will continue to discuss about the Procurement Frauds at the United Nations Development Programme.

ACP Submission: ACP/07/0763 (Waiver)
Contract Award: US$ 225,750.00 (Part-Time SSA)
Contractor Name: Eva Leonie Herfkens (Eveline Herfkens)




Not everyone can do what this woman can.

Name: Eva Leonie Herfkens (Eveline)

Nationality at Birth: Dutch

Nationality (current): United States - Green Card Holder

Passport: Dutch Diplomatic Passport

Political Affiliation: Communist (Dutch Labour Party)

But more importantly is that this lady love to work for the poor. She is so in love to work for the poor that eventhough she has not enough time to do that, she works so hard as a UNDP part-time contractor (SSA) that she get's paid as an Assistant Secretary General, which comes from Dutch Taxpayers worth US$ 300,000.00.

The problem with Eva Leonie, is that she loves Dutch money but doesn't like to pay the hefty Dutch Tax-es, worth 39-45% on income. Therefore this communist Dutch, former Party comrade of Ad Melkert (Nr. 2 of UNDP), calls some "very powerful US Members of Congress" and asks that she be awarded the United States Green Card on the grounds of "person with exceptional abilities".

So after working as Assistant Secretary General appointed from Holland (Dutch-happy-land) as head of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - Eva Leonie had enough of paying all those tax-es back home.



She picks up the phone calls her Party Comrade Ad Melkert and asks that he changes her contract from ASG (assistant Secretary general) into SSA (Contractor). Than on March 2007, Eva Leonie Herfkens, become Eveline Herfkens a US Green Card Holder.

But an SSA-Contract doesn't give you much visibility and certainly doesn't allow Eva Leonie to continue to keep her former title as Assistant Secretary General of UNDP for MDGs, be invited to parties in town or travel in business class.

A friend of Ad Melkert can have it all. At the end why friends are for ? Ad Melkert is un-touchable, he is protected from Mark Malloch Brown and Kemal Dervis. Therefore for him to hire and award a part-time job worth $300,000 to a woman-friend is nothing.

Therefore against all rules and regulations, Eva Leonie - continues to:

- carry the UN ID (gold) of an Secretary General (not allowed for an SSA);

- continues to carry the UN LP (passport) eventhough her contractual status doesn't permit one.

How come the UN Department of Security Services (DSS) doesn't stop this woman. Who is so powerful within the UN Secretariat that eventhough this lady is SSA-Contractor since March 2007, she continues to enter the building with a GOLD ID ? Who allowed this major security breach ? Should anyone pay for this?

Let's see what would be the reaction of the Dutch Government. Would they demand that Eva Leonie return her Dutch Diplomatic Passport back ? Would they continue to pay her salary of $300,000 for a part-time performance ?

Or since she is a Green Card Holder - her contract might be taken over from the United States of America and American Tax-payers ? Maybe her contract is part of the package of the increased budget that Mr. Khalilzad and Mr. Mark Wallace the US Ambassador for UN Reform are fighting for ?

But they shouldn't forget that this lady is still a Dutch Diplomat with a Dutch Diplomatic Passport - she can still claim back her Dutch Nationality.

Only in an Organization (UNDP) and the Land (USA) of Opportunities would the above happen ! What a story !