"....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
Thursday, November 3, 2011
UNDP's Belated Disclosure Policy Undercut By Harassment, Diamond Smuggling and Conflict Allegations
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
UNITED NATIONS, -- A year late and not yet fully formed, the UN Development Program on Tuesday afternoon sent out a policy on financial disclosure, under which senior UNDP official will at some still-undefined date file some forms in some still-undefined place, to be reviewed by parties unknown.
The policy, e-mailed out by (or from the account of) Administrator Kemal Dervis to all staff, and from there to Inner City Press, is reproduced below. Unlike the policy in place for more than a year within the UN Secretariat, UNDP's belated version does not provide for review by any outside accounting firm. It fails to address the specifics of UNDP -- for example, it appears that some UNDP country directors, those at the P-5 level, would not be required to file disclosures.
On May 14, Inner City Press formally inquired, as yet without response, about one such country director, based on UNDP staff complaints, asking if he
has been accused of sexual or other harassment during his posting in [country redacted for now]; if the alleged victim is now being considered for promotion; whether [he] has a Joint Appeals Board case against him from any previous posting... and if so, where and whether it concerns sexual or other harassment.
With regard to the upcoming Executive Board meetings, please explain why on results-based budgeting, only an "oral decision" is being sought from the Board.
Also, please confirm or deny that UNDP is considering moving its Center in Bratislava to Istanbul and if so, describe any and all involvement by Kemal Dervis in such planning.
Inner City Press' questions from eight days ago [including aboutUNDP Georgia] remain entirely unresponded to.
At UNDP's last press conference in Room S-226, it was requested that UNDP come at least weekly. What is the response? And when Mr. Dervis came to S-226, he said he would return regularly. It is now May. When will Mr. Dervis hold a press conference? And what of the press availabilities at UNDP concerning One-UN? And of the One-UN opening in Albania?
Please explain and/or comment on the statement that the DPRK "Informed UNDP that while the audit exercise could be held in DPRK for other UN agencies, UNDP could not expect Government to agree to an audit of UNDP programs" -- does UNDP still not expect the DPRK Government to "agree" to an audit of UNDP programs? How could a legitimate audit be completed without such agreement? What did the DRPK tell UNDP on March 26?
This last question, Inner City Press subsequently asked the Spokesperson for the Secretary General at Tuesday's UN noon briefing. From the transcript:
Inner City Press: Also, you’ve got this document where UNDP’s Bureau for Asia and the Pacific states that the North Korean Government told them on 26 March that UNDP could not expect the Government to agree to an audit of UNDP programs. This is a letter the UNDP circulated to its own Executive Board. How does this relate to the idea that if they wanted to go they could go? This seems to make pretty clear that UNDP was told by the Government that they wouldn't "agree to" an audit.
Spokesperson: This should be addressed to UNDP.
Inner City Press: I have a question pending there for eight days. That’s why I’m asking you.
In the light of such stonewalling, these late-announced, still detail-less financial disclosure policies seem like a fig leaf, or a band aid. That said, because a UNDP staffer sent them to us and there are not, for whatever reason, on UNDP's web site, here they are, followed by portions of one sample staffer's comments:
From: Kemal Dervis
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 5:15 PM To: UNDP Global Staff Subject: Policy on Financial Disclosure, Declaration of Interest, and Impartiality Statements (FDP)
15 May 2007
I would like to announce that UNDP will be implementing the policy on Financial Disclosure and Declaration of Interest (FDP) that was mandated by the Secretary- General in his bulletin of April 2006. The General Assembly approved an amendment to Staff Regulation 1.2(n) through resolution 60/238 of 23 December 2005. By this amendment, the obligation of filing a financial disclosure statement is extended to all staff at the D-1/L6 level and above and "other staff as deemed necessary in the interest of the Organization". This General Assembly resolution also expands the scope of the financial disclosure requirement to include the spouses and dependent children of the above-mentioned categories of staff. In response to this resolution, the Secretary-General issued a Bulletin ST/SGB/2006/6) on Financial Disclosure and Declaration of Interest statements, which became effective 1 May 2006. This bulletin requires UN staff who are at the in D1/L6 and above levels, and also those who are engaged in procurement or investment functions, to file financial disclosure statements or declare their interests in outside activities. It has been decided that UNDP will implement this policy by requiring that categories of staff as listed below file financial disclosure statements:
a. All staff at the D1/L6 level and above;
b. All staff who are procurement officers, or whose principal occupational duties are the procurement of goods and services for UNDP with Buyer and Approver roles in ATLAS in UNDP; c. All staff whose principal occupational duties relate to the investment of assets of UNDP, or any other investment accounts for which UNDP has fiduciary or custodial responsibility; d. Other staff members whose direct access to confidential procurement or investment information warrants the filing of a financial disclosure statement; e. The Chairperson and the alternate Chairperson of either the Advisory Committee on Procurement at headquarters, and the Chairperson and the alternate Chairperson of the Contracts, Assets, and Procurement Committee (CAP) in country and regional offices. Staff who meet any of the criteria listed above and work on $1 per year appointments or serve on appointments of short duration, have the obligation to file a declaration of interest statement instead of a financial disclosure statement. As part of the UNDP Policy on Financial Disclosure, Declaration of Interest, and Impartiality Statements, staff who are voting members of any advisory committee on procurement will be asked to file a declaration of impartiality statement. I have asked Ms. Akiko Yuge, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of Management, to lead the implementation of this policy. She will communicate directly with all of you and provide instructions on how staff should comply with the financial disclosure policy. Regards,
And now, from a portion of one sample UNDP staff member's response:
The letter of Kemal Dervis, while it comes with one-year delay from the day it was approved across the street (UN Secretariat), still stops short on identifying the following:
- This to-be Policy Paper should ensure and mention all levels of higher up management, starting with Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert, and down with ASG, Regional Directors and Thematic Directors at HQ, Resident Coordinators and Resident Representatives, Country Directors, as well as all those that fall under the categories of Head of Procurement, Head of Human Resources and Head of Finances, with Approval authorities;
- This to-be Policy Paper fail to introduce and clarify the process of disclosure and whom within the organization will be the leading as well as the recipient of such disclosures and decide on whether staff has/have potential conflict of interests. In the absence of an Ethics Officer (missing since the arrival of Ad Melkert - maybe he considers himself as one), as well as an ad-hoc external contractor like Deloitte or another who could be entrusted to check and vouch on these disclosures, the process remains unclear as well as chaotic. Who should start and lead by example should be Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert followed by Akiko Yuge, Bruce Jenks and the Shah family (director of finance Darshak Shah and his wife Aruna Thanabalasingam of the Office of Human Resources) who together own both the money and the gate to enter into UNDP.
- This to-be Policy Paper is very general and fails to provide clear instructions as well as consequences of failure from staff to do so...
Again, because a number of Inner City Press' UN sources go out of their way to express commitment to serving the poor, and while it should be unnecessary, Inner City Press is compelled to conclude this installment in a necessarily-ongoing series by saluting the stated goals of the UN agencies and many of their staff. 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.
Feedback: Editorial [at] innercitypress.com
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439
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"
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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
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Asma al-Assad is UNDP's champion of reform in Syria
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Aicha Gaddafi You are Fired !
UNDP continues to be in bed with other dictators. Will clean it one at a time.
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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.
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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"
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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
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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: 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."