links about us archives search home
SustainabiliTankSustainabilitank menu graphic
SustainabiliTank

 
 
Follow us on Twitter

 

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 30th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

The facts as described in: www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/07…

Canadian woman is next top UN internal watchdog.

By JOHN HEILPRIN
Associated Press Writer
Posted: Wednesday, Jul. 28, 2010

UNITED NATIONS The United Nations turned to a Canadian woman on Wednesday who was chief auditor for the World Bank as its choice for the next head of the U.N.’s internal watchdog agency.

Carman Lapointe-Young won approval from the General Assembly to become the undersecretary-general for oversight. She will be given the huge task of trying to quickly fix an agency that her predecessor says is in disarray.

She will start her job on Sept. 13, the U.N. announced. She will move to New York from Rome, where she has headed the oversight office of the U.N.’s fund for agricultural development since February 2009.

The Manitoba native was appointed to the non-renewable, five-year term as head of the U.N.’s Office of Internal Oversight Services by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose leadership was severely criticized in an end-of-assignment memo by outgoing OIOS head Inga-Britt Ahlenius of Sweden.

Ban said in a statement that Lapointe-Young has the “breadth and depth of experience and expertise required for this demanding position.” He said she will be expected to rebuild OIOS and fill its many vacancies as soon as possible.

Ban is reviewing Ahlenius’ memo and has ordered a review of the U.N.’s ability to investigate itself, his chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, said last week.

Bea Edwards of the Government Accountability Project, a Washington-based nonprofit law firm, said Wednesday one of the key challenges Lapointe-Young will face is to redirect OIOS investigations onto cases of major financial fraud and corruption.

Her firm has represented at least one OIOS investigator who filed a whistleblower complaint against the division’s acting director.

“We would just hope that she would re-focus the attention of OIOS onto the more significant cases of fraud and corruption, and there would be less emphasis on these petty, internal investigations,” said Edwards, referring to internal probes that she said were focused on allegations such as improper travel expense claims and pornography on computers.

Over the past decade the U.N. has been rocked a series of corruption scandals in its multibillion-dollar spending. The best known resulted from a two-year investigation into the U.N.-run oil-for-food program for Iraq led by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker.

Volcker’s inquiry culminated in an October 2005 report accusing more than 2,200 companies from some 40 countries of colluding with Saddam Hussein’s regime to bilk $1.8 billion from a program aimed at easing Iraqi suffering under U.N. sanctions.

As a result of the scandal, the U.N. created a special anti-corruption task force between 2006 and 2008 that found 20 significant corruption schemes. Its work led to sanctions against about 50 U.N. vendors, many of which were permanently debarred, and felony convictions against three U.N. officials, including two senior procurement officials.

Lapointe-Young won the nod despite some grumbling among diplomats from developing nations who said her appointment upset an informal understanding that the top accountability post should alternate between developing and rich Western nations.

At the General Assembly, several diplomats touched on the issue of geographical diversity. U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky acknowledged the concerns of representatives of “regional groups” in the General Assembly who were consulted before Wednesday’s approval, but said Ban’s selection was based on “merit,” ultimately.

From 2004 to 2009, she was the auditor general of The World Bank Group. It was during that time that Paul Wolfowitz resigned as president of the World Bank amid controversy over a pay package for his girlfriend, a bank employee.

She succeeds Ahlenius, who left the OIOS post in mid-July after blaming Ban for blocking her attempt to hire a former U.S. federal prosecutor as permanent head of the investigation division and taking other measures that she said undermined the operational independence her office is supposed to have.

Ban and his senior advisers have quickly closed ranks and disputed many of the memo’s assertions while trying to put the dispute quickly behind them.

“Where there are lessons to be learned, we will draw them,” Angela Kane, the undersecretary-general for management, said in a statement Wednesday.

In a statement labeled “Accountability for a Stronger United Nations,” Kane said Lapointe-Young will inherit “an office with 76 vacant posts” because Ahlenius failed to fill them.

—————————-

AT THE FAREWELL PARTY GIVEN BY OUTGOING AMBASSADOR H. E. YUKIO TAKASU OF JAPAN, SEEMINGLY MR. BAN KI-MOON EXPRESSED SURPRISE AT REPORTS THAT SOUTH AFRICA WAS PROMISED A SENIOR POST AT OIOS IN EXCHANGE FOR NOT BLOCKING THE APPOINTMENT OF A CANADIAN. so, here we have his commitment to let the new OIOS Chief pick her own Deputy?

At UN, Farewell to Takasu Amid Echoes of OIOS, of Human Right to Water and Sushi

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 — Japan’s Yukio Takasu held a farewell to New York and the UN on Tuesday night at his country’s East Side townhouse.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was there — expressing surprise at reports that South Africa was promised a senior post at the Office of Internal Oversight Services in change for not blocking the top spot going to a Canadian – as well as his Under Secretaries General Lynn Pascoe, Kiyotaka Akasaka and Angela Kane.

After Mr. Ban and his well liked bride left, much talk turned to the controversy stirred by the damning End of Assignment Report of outgoing OIOS chief Inga Britt Ahlenius. While usually at the UN, the press asks Ambassadors for information and opinion, this time is was the reverse.

Several Ambassadors asked Inner City Press, What do you think this means for Ban getting or not getting a second term? Major Permanent Representatives had read the critical Press coverage. “This is not good,” they said. “But will Obama have the decisiveness to act?”

Susan Rice was asked and told the media as if by rote that the US supports Ban. Others in the Obama Administration are not saying the same thing.

Ban’s USGs worked the crowd. Angela Kane of Ban’s Department of Management bowed, Japanese style, with an outgoing members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions from, where else, Japan.

Due to ACABQ’s penchant for anonymity, we will not name her but wish her well. As the UN’s envoy to Darfur said earlier at the stakeout, ACABQ recently visited El Fasher. She noted of Inner City Press, your coverage of ACABQ is always fair. Hey, it’s the only accountability mechanism in the UN, along with the press.

Kiyo Akasaka of Ban’s Department of Public Information was in his element, offering food recommendations and this new media news, that the UN is agreeing to a refer in their forthcoming guidelines to a willingness to accredit bloggers — and not only “journalists who write blogs” — although, strangely, confined to a footnote. We’ll see.

——————————-

The reality at the UN is that seemingly there is much financial interest by many countries and this includes covering of plain corruption – so – OIOS would have its hands full if it were to go after this plateful of problems.

Take for instance all those companies that bribed their way through the Iraqi “Oil for Food” project. Did anyone look at them, i.e. the French bank that was involved? Paul Volcker put it all in the open and the UN pushed it back under the rug by appointing OIOS. Will it finally be picked up?

Then, Ms. Alhenius also had a clear conflict. It is a Swedish company that got a non-competitive contract to redo the UN buildings. Some at he UN wanted to see this reviewed – clearly a matter for OIOS – but we heard no action on this. Only some members of the Press kept pointing at the problem.

So far we do not know of conflicts of interest involving Canada, will the new Chief start out with her right foot in staking her position – as controller – the buck stops here? Something like the US GAO – US Comptroller General?

In what regards her attitude when auditing the World Bank, we found an excellent interview with her:

findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4153/is_3_64/ai_n27504378/?tag=content;col1

that we highly recommend to our readers.

Making a difference: the World Bank Group’s Auditor General Carman Lapointe-Young says her team of auditors is playing its part in the organization’s fight to end poverty.

Internal Auditor, June, 2008 by Neil Baker

————————————

Further, we are gratified that our article was picked up byUNelections.org

 unelections.org/?q=node/2047

Canadian Woman is Next Top UN Internal Watchdog (Opinion) – July 28

Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to “UPDATED: We welcome Ms. Carman Lapointe-Young as UN’s New Chief of IN-HOUSE WATCHDOG – OIOS. In order to succeed she must keep her door closed to the UN Secretary-General and his staff while demanding that their doors are open to her. She must also appoint her own Deputy and Staff – this is a minimum requirement from the Alhenius volcano. Her responsibility from today is to the Global Public and definitely not to Mr. Ban Ki-moon.”

  1. Craig Says:

    Hi,
    Yes its about time the UN OIOS appoints someone who will be free to investigate internal corruption within the UN system.This is welcome news as the UN ICTR in Arusha is completely corrupt riddled with drugs, exploitation, fraud, maladministration and more recently a case of set up prostitution paid by corrupt ICTR officals. This is a result of staff living in Arusha for 16 years and now all the personal issues of the town are now adopted by the ICTR staff.This includes inteference power of info in Barclays Bank, the international airport security is compromised etc.
    This mission has been going for way too long cost a fortune and the only people benefiting are the local UN staff.
    This for this gravy train to end.

Leave a comment for this article

###