UN corruption continues unabated

I trust no one is shocked by this:

Nearly three years after the United Nations launched a highly publicized effort to crack down on fraud and waste, especially in its scandal-torn multi-billion-dollar procurement department, the clean-hands offensive is slowing down. And, its own watchdogs warn, other major areas of the U.N. bureaucracy are suffering from an alarming lack of scrutiny. . .

Those conclusions are contained in a pair of annual reports that have been submitted to the General Assembly by the U.N. watchdogs themselves, known as the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

One of the reports covers the operations from July 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008, of the U.N.’s Procurement Task Force (PTF), which was set up in January 2006 to attack procurement corruption. The document also serves as an obituary of sorts for the PTF.

As the report notes, the task force is expected to disappear at the end of this year, strangled by lack of General Assembly funding. The task force will turn over more than 150 unexamined cases, including “several significant” fraud and corruption matters, to regular OIOS investigators, who may or may not be able to handle them.

The more damning document is a report on OIOS activities from June 2007 to June 2008 across the U.N., which is not limited merely to procurement. Its author, OIOS chief Inga-Britt Ahlenius, pointed out a number of U.N. “risk categories” that strongly hint that the scandals of the past could be repeated.

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