"....The staff is sick and tired of the impunity extended by the office of the Secretary-General to senior managers for their failings especially in situations where it has led to death and disability....."
- UN Staff Union
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
UN Procurement Under Fire, Ignored by CEB, Rot Starts From Within
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
UNITED NATIONS, April 6 -- Scandals in the UN system's procurement operations arose last month and this on Capitol Hill but not, apparently, in the system's Chief Executives Board meeting convened yesterday in Paris by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. This despite a Joint Inspection Unit report that the UN purported to take seriously, which called for CEB action.
Flaws in UN Peacekeeping's procurement, including the $250 million no-bid contract to Lockheed Martin's PAE in Darfur, came up in a negative vote cast on the nomination as deputy Homeland Security chief of Jane Holl Lute, that contract's main promoter in the UN.
"does not always provide a clear indication as to which UN organization the findings pertain to.Nevertheless, of the 22 recommendations issued by the JIU, the following applied to the UN Secretariat.Eight were already in place in the UN Secretariat prior to the Note.Three would require an Enterprise Resource Planning system.Three would require coordination with the high-level Committee of Management.Five are accepted, and three would require additional clarification from the Inspectors as their recommendation is too vague. It should also be noted that the amounts in question relating to the corporate consultancies are a highly specialized element of procurement.This represents an average of $15 million expenditure, as indicated on page 5 of the Note... Don’t ask me any more questions, because this is all I have."
Inner City Press asked, "Is it possible to know which of the five recommendations the UN is actually going to act on?"
The UN's Marie Okabe answered, "I have just said I have nothing further on this."
Later, while Inner City Press was in Washington covering Ban Ki-moon's trip there and subsequently controversy, including admonition by President Barack Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs, Ms. Okabe's office e-mailed Inner City Press a more detailed answer.
Subj: Further information re: your questions on the JIU report From: unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org To: Inner City Press Sent: 3/11/2009 12:25:13 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
The recommendations indicated below have been accepted by the United Nations Secretariat. As indicated yesterday, it should be noted that the UN Secretariat disagrees with several findings contained in the Note. Due to the lack of clarity in the Note, it was not possible to ascertain which findings related to which UN Organization. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the UN Secretariat agrees with the spirit of the recommendations reflected below and will take steps to implement.
Recommendations (as numbered in the Note):
The executive heads of the United Nations system organizations should:
#(2) establish procedures to record, monitor, follow up, and evaluate the outcome of consultancy reports.
#(3) The executive heads of the United Nations system organizations should ensure that there are clear policies and procedures in place to guide staff under what circumstances to resort to corporate consultancy services.
#(4) develop an effective monitoring and reporting mechanism for waivers of competition.
#(8) provide clear guidelines and sensitize personnel for the proper documentation of the procurement process, and monitor its implementation.
# (17) ensure that the proper application of performance evaluations are enforced and monitored.
An Inner City Press procurement expert finds this Secretariat's response to the JIU report on procurement misleading, a rapid response intended to cover up the report.In the actual JIU report, the 22 recommendations are addressed equally to "The executive heads of the United Nations system organizations." It was done that way because, in the view of the JIU, all UN organizations have similar procurement problems.
CEB meeting on April 5: "something smells in this temple," procurement ignored?
The note never singles out any individual organizations, except where it collected statistics. And only 15 Organizations responded to their questionnaire. Page 2 of the report (in the introduction) states that in creating the report, the JIU inspectors examined 72 case files, including 26 -- or 36% -- from U.N. Secretariat procurement.
When they say the Secretariat had 8 recommendations in place before the note, that is a common UN way of obscuring things, since they don’t tell you which 8. Or when they had systems put in place. Or whether the JIU agreed that they had done things effectively. Or whether their remedies were more than nominal. One indication that they are covering up is the number of Secretariat case files that the JIU examined. U.N. compliance with reports like this is always done in this fashion, so no outsider can judge whether they did anything or not. But the report, as mentioned above, never singles out the Secretariat.
To say that three of the JIU recommendations would require coordination by the High Level Committee on Management means that it would require action by all the United Nations system organizations, as a whole. The HLCM is a network of all the Under Secretaries General for Management, right under the executive heads, etc. In other words, the Secretariat is admitting that it is party to at least three problems that require system-wide resolution.
The Secretariat says that three recommendations involve Enterprise Resource Planning systems. That is a very strong indicator that what the JIU says about record keeping, lack of evaluations, horrible contract management, etc., applies to the Secretariat. Because that is what the ERPs are for. We do note in the story that several organizations are putting in place Enterprise Resource Planning systems, which are supposed to be a help. Since the ERPs are being managed through consultancies, not only are there sins in record keeping, but the very sins that the report says also belong to the procurement system as a whole are very likely being perpetrated in these acquisitions.
What the Secretariat means by corporate consultancies being only $15 million per year on average is not clear. There is no mention of $15 million on page 5 of the note, and the average of consultancy expenditures across the responding institutions is $21.2 million. But the report also says, at the top of page 5, that 89% of the total outlay went to three organizations, which would total $283 million. For the Secretariat, the total is $76,037,769. If you average that out over 5 years, you get about $15 million annually. But there is no need to average it out, because a table on page 5 lays out the exact numbers for each reporting organization. The Secretariat just doesn’t want you to look at it.
The reason they don’t want you to look at it is that the bulk of Secretariat consultancy procurement consists of two big numbers, $26 million and $33.3 million, done in 2003 and 2005 respectively. These are big expenditures for SOMETHING, possibly the budgeting for IT or something similar. The secretariat wants you to think this is a drop in the bucket. But it is precisely spending for consultancies involved with information management, restructuring, etc. that are supposedly the improvement of the organization. And they are also the kind of procurements that the first 13 pages of this report criticize severely.
Inner City Press:At the CEB meeting, was the procurement report by the Joint Inspection Unit that came out, was that discussed?
Spokesperson Michele Montas:I don’t have any details on what was discussed; I was not there, so I cannot tell you whether there were specifics.I think they actually focused a lot more on the G-20 meeting that had taken place.I don’t know how far they went in specific issues like the one you are mentioning.
Question:I have a procurement question.It’s become clear that, number one, the electrical contractor for the UN, Petrocelli Electric, the founder has been indicted in the Southern District of New York for bribery.At the same time, the operator of UN Television, National Mobile Television Venue Services Group, is basically going bankrupt.Everything is being sold and they’re trying to move their people into the basement area as a final refuge.How can it be that these contracts were entered into with companies in one case being indicted, and in the other case going bankrupt?
Spokesperson:Well, in specific cases, when the contracts were entered, of course, there was no indictment and there were no suspicion that there were any wrongdoings.In terms of the second contract, of course, we can look into this.There are several companies going under and we cannot predict in advance which company will go under.I can try to get more information for you from the Procurement Office, but, at this point, as I said, we cannot predict what will happen when we sign contracts.
Spokesperson: Matthew, I just got your answer.It was just brought to me. The contract with the Petrocelli Electric Company covers overall electrical installations, operations, maintenance, alterations and major projects, and remains in place even though the UN has suspended the vendor from participating in any further procurement activity.That’s what I have for you.And we’re also aware of the financial difficulties faced by VSG’s parent company, NMT.The Organization is dealing with the situation in consultation with the VSG management.So I got your answer pretty fast for you.
Fast but is anything fixed? And so it goes at the UN.
637 UNDP Staffers are Millionaires, and another 1041 UNDP staffers have enough salary (income) to justify million dollar homes in New York (or tri-state area NY/NJ/CT).
UN/UNDP's budgets are untransparent !
U.N. budget is “utterly opaque, untransparent and completely in the shadow” and would benefit from being consolidated and audited from the outside. MMB from NyTimes
This is what pro-poor means at United Nations
Click on the above image for the story.
JOSE RAMOS HORTA - PRESIDENT OF EAST TIMOR
‘‘You know how many layers of bureaucracy there are when the European Union wants to help East Timor? Well, they don’t provide the funds to us, the funds allocated are managed by world bank. And the world bank has its own layers of bureaucracy. And they charge for that. The project is then managed by UNDP. But UNDP is only good at doing studies, they don’t execute projects.’‘
Boutros Boutros-Ghali on UN:
"perhaps half of the UN work force does nothing useful"
Can Helen Clark be trusted on Climate Change ?
President Obama's answer to Helen Clark's appeal for US to do more on climate change was : "I think the American people right now have been so focused, and will continue to be focused, on our economy and jobs and growth that ... if the message is somehow, we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anybody's gonna go for that," he said. "I won't go for that."
In 2011 Rami Makhlouf - a trusted development partner of UNDP in Syria
In 2008 U.S. Treasury designation: Rami Makhluf Designated for Benefiting from Syrian Corruption (Click on photo to see US Treasury page)
"Screwed" How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off
A full chapter (7) dedicated to UNDP and UN Secretariat. But it today at Amazon.com (click above picture)
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Asma al-Assad is UNDP's champion of reform in Syria
UNDP's special relations with dictators and terror is well documented. Yet, they continue to operate covered by UN Immunity. Click on immage for story.
Aicha Gaddafi You are Fired !
UNDP continues to be in bed with other dictators. Will clean it one at a time.
Where is NETAID money David Morrison?
UNDP Transparency Censored
UNDP's moto is: - eliminate the uncomfortable, frighten those who disagree, "educate" the perplexed..
UNDP Chief Finance Officer
The UNDP is a secretive organization and so far has kept in the dark every information related to its Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator, Mr. Darshak Shah. Click on the picture for more on Finance Office of UNDP.
UNDP Belarus - best breast corner
Should tax-payers dollars be used to photograph beautiful breasts - even when making a valid point?
Uncle Helen turning UNDP into a cove of corrupt NZ labour politicians
CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE Chris Carter's latest Credit Card scandal - can he work at UNDP after that? It seems YES he is full tested!!
UNDP's Free Speech Concept
Helen Clark says: "No more cars"
Thinking about buying a new car this year? Why, you evil Westerner! You don’t need that. You are demanding your new car off the sweat, toil, and exploitation of the world’s poorest people in developing countries.
Eveline Herfkens belongs to Jail - she should return imemdiately Dutch Taxpayers money.
if anyone else would have done what Eveline Herfkens did, would have long been in jail. We denounce this impunity and demand justice.
Andrew Mitchell - says Helen Clark is up to no good!
1. UNDP’s partnership with the World Bank needs to be more effective, particularly in fragile and crisis-affected countries. 2. UNDP’s near universal mandate means its technical resources are spread very thinly. The Board does not provide strategic direction. HR management is weak. It has a weak results chain. 3. There is limited evidence of active senior management consideration of cost control. Country evidence points to mixed progress on demonstrating cost-efficiency. 4. The Executive Board is politicised and there is a lack of consensus on the key areas for reform. It is not clear that current plans for change will deliver the required depth and breadth of reform. 5. Evidence gathered at country level was highly critical of UNDP’s ability to deliver results. Its delivery can be undermined by staffing issues and bureaucratic processes. 6. Its performance in fragile states is mixed. It has reasonable training and a range of guidance and analytical tools but struggles to fill posts. 7. There is no evidence that the Climate Strategy was directly guiding resource allocation decisions
Mark Malloch Brown outraged over Aicha Gaddafi
“I hope she's not a UNDP Ambassador,” ...“I don't think it's UNDP. I was surprised when I saw that... she was an Ambassador to any part of the UN system.”
Travel Palestine - Rediscover Your Senses
Get ready to a sensual feast of ...sounds...scents of The Land of حماس Ḥamās Documentary sponsored by UNDP Funds (click on picture for video)
Helen Clark on UNDP's own corruption (Can she be trusted?)
“When funds intended for life-saving treatment and prevention are stolen, that theft is tantamount to murder.” CLICK ON PICTURE FOR MORE
Scandal in Rwanda with Human Development Report
Aurelien Agbenonci, UNDP's RR in Kigali accuses Khalid Malik of making up data without UNDP Rwanda's knowledge. Rwanda Government is unhappy !!!
H.E. Dirk Niebel - German Development Minister
"I take the accusations made in the media concerning corruption and breach of fiduciary duty at the Global Fund very seriously and I am sure that the Fund will clarify the matter without delay. Germany is one of the biggest donors to the Global Fund. I have therefore seen to it that a special review will be held. I have frozen all further disbursements to the Fund until matters have been fully clarified, and I will ask a representative of the Fund to come to the BMZ to discuss the matter."
US Amb. Joseph Torsella blows the whistle on UN budgets
U.N. Secretariat’s proposed $5.2 “regular” budget for 2012-2013, was “simply loosening our belt a little less than we originally planned.”
The U.N. Exposed
How the United Nations Sabotages America's Security and Fails the World (Click in picture to purchase the book)
Share now information about illegal dealings at United Nations
If you are in possession of UNDP or any other United Nations Agency' contracts, correspondence, financial records or databases, which you believe detail wrongdoing such as fraud, mismanagement and abuse of authority, and you have failed to have UN's internal control, oversight and justice systems respond and/or react to your claims, you can send them to UNDP-WATCH and we will make them public keeping your identity anonymous and confidential.
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Clark is watching you!
Gaddafi aint got nothing on UNDP - Click on the picture for more!
Malakia: A Turk advises Greece on Economy
Kemal Dervis (Turkish) and George Papandreou (Greek) share many late-night phone calls together (Click on picture to read story)
Where does Ban stand on Libya?
C'est vraiment ce que tu veux pour ta carriere?
United Nations Dispute Tribunal finds Ethics Office decisions Appealable
Because UNDT is the first level of the UN’s two-tiered justice system, there is a possibility that this decision may be appealed. Hopefully, the Secretary-General will not be “absurd” enough to do so. Click above to go to GAP page.
Andrew Mitchell Demands Transparency from United Nations
And I promise you as well that in future, when it comes to international development, we will want to see hard evidence of the impact your money makes. Not just dense and impenetrable budget lines but clear evidence of real effect
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT UNITED NATIONS
Ban Ki Moon supports Ethics Decision on UNDP North Korea
Question: He recommends strongly that UNDP pays 14 months back pay to the whistleblower. Does the Secretary-General stand behind that recommendation? Should UNDP in fact pay that money, or are they free to rebuff that recommendation? Spokesperson: We will see what is going to happen. The Secretary-General of course is behind Mr. Benson on his report. There is no doubt about it. What UNDP will do, we will be seeing this; how they will implement that report.
UNDP Watch is a grouping of United Nations Staff committed to openness. We believe that everyone has the right to access information held by United Nations.
Despite a stated commitment to openness, UNDP remain a highly secretive agency.
Although a wealth of information is available on some UNDP websites, its Executive Board operate behind closed doors, much important programme and administrative information is never made available and, as a rule, information that is disclosed is provided only after relevant decisions have effectively been taken.
While UNDP has adopted “internal policies” on information disclosure, they in fact operate on precisely the opposite presumption. For the most part, they list which documents will be disclosed and when, and there is a presumption against the disclosure of all the other information they hold. They do not establish right of access, the lists of documents subject to disclosure is limited, they do not set out clear and narrow grounds for refusing access and they do not provide for independent oversight mechanisms to ensure proper implementation of the policy.
The UNDP WATCH is calling for the complete overhaul of these policies.
"...We believe that without accountability, there is impunity. We ask that you (Secretary General) not be complicit in cover-up of what happened prior to 11 Dec attack. The staff is sick and tired of the impunity extended by the office of the Secretary-General to senior managers for their failings especially in situations where it has led to death and disability."