In a continued saga of scandals, collusions and conspiracies at UNDP, InnercityPress published on Friday a story about how a top Belgium envoy to the UNDP’s Executive Board was lured into a senior job with United Nations, after he raised major concerned about agency’s capacity to perform its duties in Burundi.
According to documents obtained from InnercityPress, Geert Vasintjev the top Belgium Government envoy to UNDP’s executive board has raised many time his concerns about the Agency’s failures in transparently managing the Belgium contribution.
In his latest secretive communication with Darshak Shah, Mr. Vansintjan says:
"The most important asset of UNDP is its reputation. You should be able to project an image of taking procurement seriously. I want this reaction because I want to show my field office that they are not alone and that we can improve on the UNDP. Without falling into the US-trap. "
But everyone questions now Mr. Vansintjan’s “sincere” concerns over UNDP’s behaviours.
Just one month after the above email exchange, Mr. Vansintjan was offered the Nr.2 job at the Office for Project Services in New York. UNDP and OPS personnel files indicate that Vansintjan was recruited out of usual recruitment standard practices and his post was not adervertised. In the cover of the personnel file it's a handwritten note which says:-"Strategic Recruitment".
A source at OPS-New York says:- "it was rather a last moment creation of UNDP and OPS to counterbalance United States disagreement and displeasure on IAPSO's merger. The Belgian vote in September's Executive Board meeting in IAPSO-UNDP-OPS merger was of high importance, therefore Dervis and Mattson had to pay whatever price". UNDP Watch checked and found out that Mr. Vansintjan was the one to represent and cast Belgian vote in the latest Executive Board (Sept 2007).
This top watchdog, who was entrusted by Belgium Government with monitoring and reporting on how UNDP manage the Belgium tax-payers money, might have been playing all along on UNDP’s side. Instead of exposing and holding responsible the agency for its internal miss-mamagement, procurement failures and corruption, in a direct collusion, Mr. Vansintjan was instead preparing the grounds for his transfer to one of the Agency's top jobs in New York.
But was the above a personal choice or is this a sign of a bigger European Conspiracy with United Nations, to save the agency from “falling into US-Trap”?
This latest revelations makes everyone wonder if the words of Geert Vansintjan are his or does those reflect the stand of Belgium Government. Internal sources close to Belgium Mission also indicated that Mr. Vansintjan has continued to receive "benefits" from Belgium mission as latest as December 2007.
Continue to watch UNDP-WATCH, we will be having live updates from internal discussions at Exeutive Board and behind the scenes.
Because a number of UNDP WATCH sources go out of their way to express commitment to serving the poor in a transparent and ethical way, we thank everyone for the support. Keep those cards, letters and emails coming, and phone calls too, we apologize for any phone tag, but please continue trying, and keep the information flowing.