"....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
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
EXCLUSIVE: U.N. Audit Finds 'Lapses' in Managing Food Program Aid to N. Korea
By George Russell
Published September 28, 2010
In an eerie replay of a scandal that enveloped the United Nations Development Program, an internal audit by the U.N.’s World Food Program shows significant “lapses,” “anomalies,” and unexplained variations last year in the way the relief agency reported its financial and commodity management in North Korea.
The holes in WFP’s humanitarian reporting raise questions of whether a U.N. agency has allowed money and supplies intended for starving North Koreans to end up in the hands of the country’s brutal communist rulers, who are under international sanctions aimed at halting their aggressive atomic weapons program.
According to WFP itself, in response to questions from Fox News, the confidential audit “highlighted a small number of inconsistencies in commodity accounting that have subsequently been addressed.” All the issues involved have since been “closed,” the agency added.
However, Fox News obtained a copy of a summary of projects undertaken by WFP’s internal watchdog Office of Internal Audit between July and September of last year, which lists the North Korean lapses first among its audit highlights. Among other things, it notes:
--“inconsistent data and unreliable information systems used for reporting [WFP] commodity movements, stock balances and food utilization” in North Korea;
--“lapses…in financial and commodity management processes.”
---“numerous anomalies…in information systems used for reporting commodity movements and food utilization in the CO [WFP local country office].”
The full extent of the management lapses and their consequences cannot be determined without the unexpurgated audit report—and the WFP is not willing to make that public. The agency flatly turned down a request by Fox News for the document.
In fact, WFP has not even supplied a copy of the audit report to nations, including the U.S., that supervise its operations through a 36-member executive board. (The U.S. government gave about $1.76 billion to WFP in 2009, and has so far contributed $959 million this year.)
A Fox News query to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. in Geneva got confirmation that the U.S. government did not have the report, and that “WFP does not currently share its internal audit reports with the WFP Executive Board members.”
By now, however, it was supposed to. A policy that allowed the WFP’s executive director, Josette Sheeran, to give such audit reports to executive board members on demand was up for approval by the board at its last meeting in June. However, it was withdrawn from the board’s agenda; it is now up for consideration at the next Board meeting in November.
Even then, however, the wording of a draft version of the decision underlines that the sunlight provisions “will not be applied retroactively.”
The audit references to lapses in relief aid reporting practices are not the first indicator that the regime of ailing dictator Kim Jong Il might have the opportunity to exploit WFP resources in North Korea.
In June 2009, Fox News got an admission from the relief agency that its food supplies were carried from China to North Korea on vessels owned by the Kim regime. The potential transportation costs for those relief supplies appeared to be enormously high to outside shipping experts asked by Fox News to analyze the agency’s relief program documents. No mention of the regime’s role in transporting WFP goods appeared in the documents or on the agency’s website.
WFP has delivered more than $1 billion worth of food aid to North Korea since 2000, but the amount of donated money available for that effort has dwindled sharply as the Kim regime has exploded two nuclear bombs, threatened neighboring Japan and South Korea with war, and even sunk a South Korean warship on the high seas, according to the best forensic evidence available.
Its current plans call for spending about $91 million for food for about 2.2 million North Koreans this year.
The WFP audit reference to lapsed internal controls in North Korea, and the agency’s pooh-poohing of them, also bears a disturbing resemblance to the early stages of a battle over the role of the United Nations Development Program in North Korea, which led to the closure of UNDP's North Korea office for two years, from 2007 to 2009. The WFP was later named as the U.N.’s lead agency in the country.
In 2006, a whistleblower named Artjon Shkurtaj revealed that UNDP procedures in North Korea had funneled millions of dollars in hard currency to the Kim regime, allowed North Korean government nominees to occupy sensitive UNDP positions in the local country office, kept thousands of U.S. dollars counterfeited by North Korea without informing U.S. authorities, and other transgressions.
All were flatly denied by the U.N. agency, though many of the accusations were later revealed to have been mentioned in internal audit reports — which UNDP refused to make public, on the same grounds currently used by WFP, that they were internal management tools. The existence of the audit criticisms were only made known through an external board of auditors’ investigation in 2007.
A further outside investigation revealed that UNDP’s transgressions were even worse than the auditors had suggested. Not only had UNDP routinely continued to hand over millions in hard currency to the Kim regime, use government nominated officials in sensitive positions, and transfer sensitive equipment with potential for terrorist use or for use in creating weapons of mass destruction, it had done so in violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions in force at the time, and also contravened its own basic financial rules and regulations.
In the midst of the furor over its North Korean activities, UNDP finally agreed to make future internal audit reports public—at least to governments on its executive board, and as long as they applied in writing. Since then, it has also amended its internal procedures and is now relaunching itself in North Korea. (To date, the U.N. has not paid recompense to Shkurtaj that was mandated by its own ethics officer in the wake of the UNDP scandal.)
Is the World Food Program following the unsettling trail blazed by UNDP in North Korea, before it mended its ways?
Without the full internal audits, it is hard to tell—but the stonewalling of those audits looks very familiar.
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)
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“When funds intended for life-saving treatment and prevention are stolen, that theft is tantamount to murder.” CLICK ON PICTURE FOR MORE
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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: email@example.com
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."