Ban's Hiring Staff Spin, Decline Myanmar Comment, Doss No
July 22 -- In purported rebuttal of criticism of UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for lack of leadership on Myanmar,
Darfur, Afghanistan and other issues, the UN on July 22 presented
camera two officials, neither with any political responsibility.
Under Secretary General for Management, told Inner City Press that
she could not rebut outgoing official Inga Britt Ahlenius' criticism
regarding Myanmar, where Ban allowed dictator Than Shwe to take part
of UN aid in foreign exchange manipulation, because “in my current
perch” as USG for Management it would be “inappropriate to
comment on the political situation in one country.” Video here,
as to human
resources questions, Assistant SG Catherine Pollard evaded most of
the questions, in essence blaming Ahlenius for not have set up her
own Senior Review Panel to obtain the independence to which she and
the Office of Internal Oversight Services are entitled.
Martin Nesirky had begun by saying that for all UN posts at the D-2
level, there must be three candidates and at least one must be a
woman. But as Inner City Press reported earlier this week, Horst
Heitmann was removed from his Security Council Affairs post and
parked atop the Middle East and Western Asia unit of the Department
of Political Affairs, without any three candidates or woman.
this was an exception, a lateral hire, but that the post Heitmann was
removed from will be advertised and filled in the usual way. The
usual pre-selected way? Sources say that Karina Gurlach, a favorite
of DPA chief Lynn Pascoe, will get the post under a Temporary Vacancy
Announcement, and then permanently.
the rubric of
accountability, Inner City Press asked about the case of Alan Doss,
who after initially being exposed by Inner City Press for pushing
UNDP to show him “leeway” and hire his daughter, was the subject
of a report of impropriety by OIOS that Ban let languish on his desk
until Doss retired.
“G-2s and USGs are subject to the same rules” -- this despite
Doss being allowed to bring his wife and children to “non-family”
posts in West Africa and the Congo, as UN Volunteers -- and that the
OIOS report “as presented” justified the “action” taken.
City Press asked. Ban's Assistant Spokesman Farhan Haq had said the
Doss report was still being considered, and that the outcome would be
action was deemed warranted, Pollard said. So: lack of
accountability, and total lack of transparency, as to when and why
this decision was taken.
UN's Ban and Kane, Compact only on intra-net, but
SRSGs too now
is more on the
issue of hiring rules to which the UN has sought to confine the story
-- we present this without forgetting that Ms. Ahlenius herself tried
improperly to get her friend Danielle Coolen hired, refused to answer
questions about it, nor why she and Robert Appleton never
investigated the UN's $250 million sole source contract with Lockheed
Martin for Darfur “super camps” that were never built.
cited an obscure Secretariat document called ST/AI/401 and
claimed that Ahlenius never created the necessary "appointment
panel" which would have allowed her to select her preferred
candidate to head OIOS' Investigations Division.
was pointed out to her that it is actually the responsibility of
the Secretary-General to create the panel, she dodged the question,
saying maybe this will happen in the future.
ST/AI/2003/4, issued 21 March 2003, "the Secretary-General,
in consultation with the Under-Secretary-General for Internal
Oversight Services, shall establish an OIOS Review Body to advise the
Under-Secretary-General on the appointment, promotion and termination
of all staff members up to and including the D-2 level.
about the actual provisions of relevant UN rules, Pollard
deflected the question with mumbo-jumbo about an ongoing review of
all Administrative Instructions.
"Personnel Arrangements for the Office of Internal
Oversight Services", says that the Head of OIOS shall exercise
"latitude and control" over personnel and resources of
OIOS, and "shall have powers of appointment, promotion and
termination similar to those delegated by the Secretary-General to
the heads of programmes, funds or subsidiary organs enjoying special
status in these matters."
not able to adequately explain why the appointments within OIOS
are thus not treated the same as the appointments within UNDP, where
the SG does not exercise veto rights over the hiring of D-2. Helen
Clark can hire whoever she wants, without her selections going to
Ban's Senior Review Group for vetting and approval.
by Kane was the obvious conflict of interest inherent in
Team Ban having in effect veto power over Ahlenius' personnel
selection process. These would be the subject of future reviews by
the Fifth Committee, ACABQ, and Internal Audit Committee, in a
properly functioning organization.
ST/SGB/2002/7, titled "Organization of the Office of
Internal Oversight Services", quite clearly establishes that
"The Under-Secretary-General is responsible for all the
activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, as well as
its administration." Team Ban didn't adequately explain this
document says that the OIOS executive office is responsible for
"submitting OIOS appointment and promotion cases endorsed by the
Panel to the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services
for his or her approval on behalf of the Secretary-General."
is a clear indication that the head of OIOS is responsible for
approving appointments "on behalf of the Secretary-General". Both of
these documents -- ST/AI/401 and ST/SGB/2002/7 -- were
prepared and issued by the Department of Management.
it seems that Team Ban did not have the authority to reject
Ahlenius' proposed selection for the D-2 position in her
Investigations Division. What story will they try to spin now?
Another “senior UN official” is scheduled to appear later on July
22. Watch this site.
* * *
Ahlenius Trashes Ban, With Dirty Hands Too Late, Full Memo Needed
July 20 -- At the end of a less than successful term as the
UN's chief investigator, Inga Britt Ahlenius on July 16 delivered a
50 page “end of assignment report” trashing, largely deservedly,
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. At the same time, and some media but
not this one think by the same person, the memo was leaked to Turtle
Bay, which published not the 50 page memo but only a three-page
cover letter on July 20.
reporters went to that day's noon briefing to grill Ban's spokesman
about the cover letter, as they did when Norway's deputy ambassador
in a fully leaked memo similarly bashed Ban, some secondary coverage
has emerged, largely
siding with Ahlenius but concluding that a second term for Ban
Ki-moon is nearly inevitable.
however, is why did Ahlenius wait until the end of her term to make
her critique known? If leaving posts in her office empty was so
debilitating, if investigations were impossible without Connecticut's
Robert Appleton, why did Ahlenius stay quiet?
City Press and others asked for Ahlenius to come and take questions.
For Inner City Press, this began when a whistleblower leaked an
Ahlenius e-mail asking then Management chief Alicia Barcena to be
sure to be on the selection panel and give a job to Ahlenius' friend
Ms. Danielle Coolen. Click here for the
story, here for Ms.
never responded to requests to explain this
presumptive nepotism. So much for accountability.
l'affaire Ahlenius, then, is a plague on both their
Yes, Ban and his cardinal Kim Won-soo tried to undermine the UN's
system of independent investigations. But Inga Britt Ahlenius
accomplished less and less in each year of her tenure.
heroic Appleton, who made his name by leaking to large American media
outlets, never investigated the $250
million sole source Darfur
contract that American UN official Jane Holl Lute awarded to Lockheed
Martin for “super camps” that were never built. Because Appleton
and Ahlenius were playing to a elite public, they never felt a need
to explain this.
the June 20 noon
briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to
substantiate claims in Vijay
Nambiar's response, such as that Ban has
somehow strengthened whistleblower protections.
asked, was Alan Doss held accountability, when action on a finding of
wrong doing in asking for “leeway” in getting his daughter hired
by UNDP is still being delayed, until after Doss' retirement?
lurched around about climate change and gender balance, along with
saying that perhaps Nambiar will come and take questions, which has
never happened, even on war crimes issues.
Ahlenius and Appleton Jan 08, then no briefing for 2 1/2 years
City Press threw Nesirky a softball, asking if
opposition to Appleton didn't come from Singapore and Russia, the
latter a Permanent Five member of the Security Council which could
deny Ban a second term. Nesirky said he wasn't aware of that.
senior Ban administration officials told Inner City Press they
thought this storm would pass, including in light of how few
journalists showed up to ask Nesirky about it. But one reason for
this is the continued non availability of the 50 page memo itself.
person familiar with the memo has told Inner City Press that while on
investigations Ahlenius has the conflicts of interest summarized
about, some of the critique goes beyond it, to Ban's overall
performance in “MONUC [sic - MONUSCO] and MINURCAT... Myanmar,
Darfur, Afghanistan, Cyprus, G20.”
and her Appleton, question whether their unwillingness to investigate
the corrupt sole source grant of a $250 million dollar contract in
Darfur to Lockheed Martin didn't contribute to UN loss of relevance.
But there is and will be more. Watch this site.
July 20 UN
noon briefing transcript:
Press: I’m sure you are aware of this controversy of the exit
memo by Ms. Ahlenius and Mr. Nambiar’s response. At least as of
now, Nambiar’s response to it says, makes various criticisms, but
presents as a defence of the Secretary-General that he has been,
among other things, on accountability, that he has strengthened
whistleblower protections and held people accountable. Maybe you
could describe what the strengthening of the whistleblower
protections are, and state, for example, if Alan Doss, with an OIOS
[Office of Internal Oversight Services] report sitting on Ban
Ki-moon’s desk for a while now, was he held accountable? Was
Shabaan Shabaan, with a pending case, and the court decision, I
guess, is there some opportunity, seeing now Mr. Nambiar’s response
to the press on these issues, to dig into them a little bit and
either have them come give a briefing, or to substantiate what is
said in his memo? And also to get a copy of the 50-page Ahlenius
exit? Only the cover page is online.
That’s presumably thanks to the journalistic endeavours
of the Washington Post correspondent. There is the three-page
summary there that you’ve been able to read.
Press: Nambiar’s thing is a public document, right?
Mr. Nambiar’s, the Chef de Cabinet’s, document is out there,
it’s also linked on the Washington Post and the foreignpolicy.com
sites — as you quite rightly say, that this is the Chef de Cabinet
on behalf on the Secretary-General, addressing specific points that
had been raised by Colum Lynch in his researching and writing of the
pieces that he did. So the response from Mr. Nambiar very
specifically is geared to the questions that Mr. Lynch had raised. And
as you also mentioned on accountability, there are any number of
different measures that had been undertaken, not just by the
Secretary-General. I think this is an important point, that this is
part of a process that is constantly evolving. Accountability is
something that has been there from the start, and successive
Secretaries-General have sought to improve it, to strengthen it, in
different ways. This Secretary-General came into office with
precisely that aim, to strengthen accountability and transparency. He
has been doing that; the specific examples that Mr. Nambiar has
quoted speak for themselves. I will relay your request to him. He’s
probably watching now and has heard it himself....
Press: It seems like a lot of this revolves around Robert
Appleton, who used to be the head of the Procurement Task Force?
One fifth of it revolves around that.
Press: This isn’t the softball I’m throwing you, Martin. Is
it true that Russia and Singapore have opposed Mr. Appleton being
considered for any post within OIOS? And if not, could this be, is
the Secretariat aware of opposition by Russia, Singapore, and other
countries investigated during Mr. Appleton’s tenure?
First of all, we wouldn’t necessarily be privy to any country’s
preference or opposition necessarily, I’m certainly not aware of
that kind of pressure being brought to bear, and what I can say is
that this one case that is repeatedly referred to, and as I said
takes up a large chunk of this end-of-assignment report, which is an
internal management tool; a very valuable management tool is the way
that one likes to look at these end-of-assignment reports, when they
are put together in the right constructive fashion. But what one
also has to stress is that this is not one particular individual,
this is about due process, about the rules for recruitment within the
Organization as a whole, not just for one division, department, one
part of the Organization. This is a standard rule that applies to
all appointments throughout the system, within the different
departments and divisions and so on, that there are. That’s the
way it is.