Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AP - UN official blasts Ban Ki-moon on accountability

(AP) – 5 hours ago

UNITED NATIONS — The departing head of the agency that battles corruption in the United Nations has issued a scathing assessment of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's record on accountability.

The memo by Inga-Britt Ahlenius blames Ban and his senior advisers for weakening the U.N. so much it is "falling apart" and "drifting into irrelevance."

The undersecretary-general who stepped down from a five-year term last week says "there is no transparency, there is lack of accountability" under Ban's leadership.

She says Ban caused "damage to the integrity of a core process" at the U.N. by blocking her from filling vacant posts and taking other steps that undermined her tenure as head of the Office of Internal Oversight Services.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Tuesday that Ban "would be the first to say this organization has a long way to go to fully implement the changes that are needed."

1 comment:

PUSH: For United Nations Accountability at the United Nations said...

Kudos to Mrs. Ahlenius. Her parting shots at her boss have done more to expose the malaise at the UN than any report she might have issued in her five years at the helm of OIOS. Mr. Nambiar’s feeble defense of BAN-ki-Moon’s management of the Secretariat only serves to underscore how far removed from reality the 38th Floor is. Two independent bodies created by the General Assembly to try and make the Secretariat accountable have now publicly turned against the Administration. One should note that the independent judges of the new internal justice system have also turned against the Secretariat. Somehow, Ban-ki-Moon has found ways to undermine both.
In addition to the failings detailed by Ms. Ahlenius in her report, Ban’s Secretariat has demonstrated its disdain for the rule of law. As counsel for a number of staff members, I have successfully defended staff members falsely accused of serious crimes, including the five procurement personnel summarily dismissed by the UN in the Congo, only to see Ban-ki-Moon’s Secretariat appeal the verdicts on what amount to frivolous grounds. That is injustice magnified a hundred times over. This is in addition to the well-publicized running battle with the UNDT’s Judge Adams of Australia. Yet when everything is said and done, the real criticism should be directed at the member states, particularly the United States and the other major donors for failing to properly monitor the Secretariat. These member states are very aware of the strife within the Secretariat, yet no moves have been made to make Ban-ki-Moon accountable. The basic truth is most insiders know that all it takes is a nudge from the US, supported by other major donors to change the culture at the UN. So where is Ms. Rice?
While on the subject, it is only fair to add that while Ahlenius tried to create an environment at the UN where investigators and auditors were unfettered in their pursuit of corruption, her recruitment policies failed to bring competence to her department. The sheer volume of cases reported by the PTF/OIOS that have been rejected by the internal justice system is instructive about Bob Appleton’s abilities as an investigator and manager. What Ms. Ahlenius should now do that she has the time, is read in detail what the UNDT judges have had to say about OIOS investigation reports. It should be humbling. That she still believes Mr. Appleton was her man despite these negative reports by independent judges takes away from what has been otherwise a commendable effort, compared to her two predecessors.

Edwin Nhliziyo
Former OIOS Senior Auditor