The UN budget is at least $25 billion yearly, a quarter of which is supplied by US taxpayers. Files from 10/08 to 8/09 show large sums flow out with little or no accounting. Files were viewed in May 2010 by Claudia Rosett.
5/17/10, "Hot tips on waste, fraud, and abuse: US Mission posts scores of UN internal reports," Claudia Rosett, The Rosett Report, Pajamas Media
"Just days after I queried the U.S. Mission to the UN about its commitment to UN transparency (Paging Ambassador Susan Rice), the Mission finally posted on its web site more than 130 previously secret UN internal audit reports. The UN, for all its endless promises about transparency and
- its ample enjoyment of other people’s money,
does not release these reports to the public. It is only thanks to the U.S. that they are now seeing daylight at all — though it takes some trolling through the Mission’s web site to find them....Here’s a link to the U.S. Mission’s web page on UN Oversight and Transparency with the main links, and here are direct links to the newly posted and
"Whether it’s a summary of the “higher risks” due to “the lack of an appropriate structure”
- for the UN’s own Ethics Office,
or a report on the dire derelictions of reporting and accountability dogging the plump trust funds of the
- UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)...
not bothering to produce
- any consolidated statement of cash flow....
- multi-year delays in accounting for funds.
Or delve into the Dec., 2008 report on the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism, where...
- the executive board “due to lack of time”
had neglected to adopt any code of conduct whatsoever to address
- such corrosive problems
Or, in the realms of UN peacekeeping, with its more than $8 billion annual budget, for which
- U.S. taxpayers alone fork out roughly
- $2 billion per year,
check out the UN’s nearly $1 billion annual program for peacekeeping air operations. In an August, 2009 report, the UN’s
- own internal auditors noted that participation by
- senior management was “inadequate,”
- was “improper.”...
An executive summary of “not adequate” is often code for
- outright abuse or screaming failure...
But these reports...cover only a sampling of the UN’s sprawling global system...in corners that
- rarely receive attention from the media...
For Washington to get any traction on pulling the UN out of its own administrative muck takes a lot of backbone and focused effort. But if the U.S. is to rely on the UN in any way,
- as President Barack Obama wishes to do,
then the only course for minimizing chances of being tainted with the next colossal UN management scandal is for the U.S. to push hard, visibly and constantly for the UN to clean up its own house....
A quick bit of history here: When the (Iraq) Oil-for-Food scandal broke big time in 2004, the
- UN refused to release its internal audits of the program
- even to governments of member states,
- including its chief donor, the U.S.
After a showdown with congressional investigators, the internal audits were finally tipped out in early 2005, via the UN inquiry led by Paul Volcker. They provided damning insights into UN administrative abuses and derelictions that helped feed the gusher of Oil-for-Food corruption. Those reports might have been useful in heading off the damage of that UN blowout,
- had they been released to the public as they were produced,
instead of being exposed later as an embarrassing piece of the UN’s self-serving coverup.
In the aftermath of those disclosures, the U.S. Mission under the previous administration began obtaining UN internal audit reports and posting them on its UN reform section of its web site. That’s the third link on the Mission’s current main page for Oversight and Transparency, OIOS Reports Archive,
- which runs up to Sept., 2008, and until the end of last week
was the most recent information available.For any current attempt to patrol the UN administrative habits, the next questions are:
- Where are the audits so far from 2010?
When will the U.S. Mission post those? And when will the White House fill the important post at the U.S. Mission of Ambassador for Management and Reform? Since Obama took office, that slot has been left to an acting envoy, Obama’s nominee last year having flamed out over questions involving his own issues of management. "[The position is still unfilled. Obama nominated Joseph Torsella in Nov. 2010 and renominated him in Jan. 2011].
"The Obama administration’s welcome decision to release the massive backlog of 2009 and late 2008 UN internal audits will only help if people actually read them and distill the information within, and U.S. authorities act by strongly pressuring the UN to clean up its endlessly proliferating mess — which in recent times
- has had virtually no oversight.
4/16/09, "Report: U.N. spent U.S. funds on shoddy projects," USA Today, Ken Dilanian
"The U.N. ran a "quick impact" infrastructure program from 2003 to 2006 under a $25 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
- The U.N. delivered shoddy work,
- diverted money to other countries and then stonewalled U.S. efforts
to figure out what happened, according to a report by USAID's inspector general obtained
- by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.
"Due to the refusal of the United Nations to cooperate with this investigation,
- questions remain unanswered," the report says.
- Federal prosecutors in New York City were forced
- to drop criminal and civil cases
A spokesman for UN Ambassador Susan Rice said the report was disturbing and that the US was "committed to making the UN more accountable," according to USA Today.
Reference: 5/13/10, "Paging Ambassador Susan Rice," Forbes.com, Claudia Rosett