"....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
UNITED NATIONS — The leader of the agency that is supposed to root out corruption in the United Nations is stepping down Wednesday with no successor in sight, adding to fears that the U.N. is becoming less capable of policing itself.
With the departure of Inga-Britt Ahlenius, head of the Office of Internal Oversight Services for the past five years, three of the agency's four top jobs are unfilled. American and U.N. officials and watchdog groups are concerned that the U.N. is compromising its ability to prevent another scandal like the $1.8 billion bilked from the U.N.-run oil-for-food program in Iraq.
"The United States has consistently and aggressively pushed for a strong and independent Office of Internal Oversight Services to uncover fraud, waste and mismanagement at the U.N., but we are disappointed with the recent performance of its investigations division," said Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the U.N.
"We have been crystal clear with the U.N. at the highest levels that the coming change in OIOS leadership must bring about a significant improvement in its performance to increase oversight and transparency throughout the organization," he told the AP, using the initials of the oversight office.
Interviews with OIOS officials and documents uncovered in Associated Press investigations portray a demoralized office whose staff lacks confidence in the management's leadership.
Despite a General Assembly resolution last December urging Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure that a successor was appointed before Ahlenius' term expired, none has been named and no indication has been given of when that will happen.
Asked by AP about the prospects for replacing Ahlenius, Angela Kane, the U.N.'s undersecretary-general for management, said July 1 that "a very intensive search" is under way.
Ahlenius declined interview requests and said by e-mail she will submit her end-of-assignment report to Ban on Wednesday, her last day on the job.
Another OIOS leadership position — the directorship of its investigative division — has been vacant since 2006. That unit's investigators were told, in a document obtained by the AP, not to open cases of financial fraud or corruption involving U.N. vendors or former staff — a reversal of past policy. Separately, they were ordered not to follow up on or to quickly close out investigations already launched by the U.N. Procurement Task Force when it operated from 2006 through 2008, according to OIOS officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they said they feared reprisals.
The Procurement Task Force, set up in the wake of the oil-for-food case, was headed by Robert Appleton, a veteran former U.S. federal prosecutor who was special counsel for that inquiry. It was disbanded at the end of 2008 under pressure from some governments that protested findings of wrongdoing involving citizens or companies from their nations.
The General Assembly had directed Ban and Ahlenius to ensure that the task force's caseload and capacities were transferred to OIOS' investigation division.
But since the start of 2009, the U.N. under Ban has cut back sharply on investigations into corruption and fraud within its ranks, shelving cases involving allegations of theft or misuse of millions of dollars, an AP investigation in January showed.
Many of the Procurement Task Force's completed investigations included urgent recommendations to turn over evidence to prosecutors in the countries concerned, but Ban's office rarely did so. The U.N. has no prosecutorial powers.
Since the start of 2009, Ban's office has referred one major case outside the U.N., according to U.N. officials, diplomats and figures supplied to AP by the U.N.'s legal office. Some major reports also remain sealed from public view, for no publicly stated reasons.
Last month, when asked by the AP to respond to the allegations and detail the U.N.'s anti-corruption efforts, Ban replied only that "addressing corruption as a way of enhancing good governance — that is a very important area — the United Nations is putting emphasis on that."
However, David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general who now chairs the U.N.'s Independent Audit Advisory Committee, told AP he fears OIOS will be relegated to "a caretaker status" under the temporary oversight of the U.N.'s legal chief, Patricia O'Brien.
"Frankly, my bigger concern now is the leadership vacuum that exists in OIOS because Ahlenius' term ends this month, and it's very unclear what the status of the search is for a successor," said Walker, whose committee advises the General Assembly on accountability issues.
"And, furthermore, the heads for the investigation division and the evaluation and inspections division are still open," Walker said. "There are recommendations that have been pending with the secretary-general's office for an extended period of time — and just no response whatsoever."
Appleton was twice unanimously selected by an independent U.N. panel to head the investigations unit, and was among the more than 70 applicants who responded to worldwide advertising for a candidate. He was Ahlenius' choice for the job, but when asked why he hasn't gotten the job, Ban's office and Kane said the list of applicants lacked diversity.
In the absence of a permanent director, the investigation division is run by an acting director, Michael Dudley, a career U.N. official. The department's management under his tenure was criticized by some employees of the 70-strong division in a survey of staff in late 2008 obtained by AP.
Of 52 respondents, 47 percent said the management operates with integrity and 41 percent said it doesn't. The rest had no opinion. About three-fifths described the office as having low morale, ineffective leadership and unfair promotion practices.
In a Nov. 24, 2008, e-mail to senior staff, Dudley said the survey contained "some expected comments, some of which are very personal and related to my integrity and performance." He noted "most of the negative comments about me show a lack of trust," but said he hoped to change that.
The Government Accountability Project, a Washington-based nonprofit law firm, has previously represented at least one OIOS investigator who filed a whistleblower complaint alleging retaliation by Dudley.
Bea Edwards, the firm's international program director, told the AP that Dudley "does not seem to have been able to really pursue and close the tough cases that were left there by the Procurement Task Force."
"Many serious cases of substantial corruption have simply been closed or languished in that division under his management," she said.
The AP's investigation, based on U.N. documents and interviews with officials, found that Dudley has a record of closing cases before investigations were complete and has not actively pursued the initiatives begun by the Procurement Task Force. These include plans to investigate all five of the U.N.'s economic commissions around the world.
He also has cut back on investigators experienced in financial fraud and corruption and ditched other resources including former task force investigators and a task force contract that provided expert forensic support services.
Dudley, a 47-year-old Kentuckian, was hired as a deputy director of the investigative division in 2007. He declined to be interviewed, but in response to detailed questions, he told AP by e-mail he considers every investigation to be significant. He said his division looks into allegations of fraud, bribery and embezzlement and "a wide range of matters beyond."
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
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!!
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."