UN Official Says No FOIA Needed, Myanmar & Sudan No Comment
July 22 -- Ban Ki-moon's desire for a second term as UN
Secretary General was on display on Thursday, when two separate press
conferences were held to rebut the critique of
Secretary General for Investigations Inga Britt Ahlenius.
Kane and her human resources Assistant SG Catherine Pollard
provided a dense, some say misleading defense of Ban's reaching
to determine Ahlenius' choice of a deputy.
Kane says it
would be improper, however, for her as USG for Management to answer
Inner City Press' request for Team Ban's response to Ahlenius'
statement that Ban has failed on such issues as Myanmar and Sudan.
Inner City Press asked who would take questions on Myanmar and
and Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said you may have an opportunity
5 to 6 pm
that afternoon, a self described “senior UN official,” whom we'll
refer to as SUNO or as “he,” while it may have been a woman, took
questions off camera from the Press.
Press asked for example about
Ban, despite the centrality of gender
balance to his defense, having named of High Level Advisory Group on
Climate Change Financing consisting of 19 people, all men, until
was replaced by Minister Lagarde of France, the Senior UN Official
said the criticism by the Presswas “unfair,” since a woman was added to
19 member Group in the end. A Ban advisor -- to play by the rules, we
cannot say whether the same or a different one -- similarly this week blamed
began by asking for a defense of what Ahlenius and others call Ban's
failure on Myanmar and Sudan. The Senior UN Official deflected this
by saying that on some issues you move favor and some slow.
South Sudan there is the deadline of a planned referendum. The
Official countered that he only wanted to talk about Ms. Ahlenius'
critique -- which, of course, included Myanmar and Sudan, as well as
Congo and Cyprus, but who's counting?
Press asked about the division of powers question at the heart of
Ahlenius' critique, that under the rules she should had the
independence, as UNDP does, to appoint her own D-2 level officials.
The UN Official responded first that in practice, “systematically,”
Helen Clark of UNDP checks on such appointments with Ban.
have to, and Clark is also not in charge of investigating Ban Ki-moon
and the Secretariat. The founding documents of OIOS say that it
should have the same hiring independence as UNDP.
disagreed, surreally. It can't be the same, he said, “mutatis
mutandi... you should know... what applies to [you] does not apply to
[another journalist]... you have a beard.” Then the Official
turned to take other questions.
UN's Ban and Ahlenius at farewell, per UN, 50 page
memo not shown
bragged about Ban's UN's transparency, Inner City Press asked why the
Compacts Ban signs with his officials -- now to their credit
including the heads of peacekeeping missions -- are only placed on
the UN's intranet, and not for the public, or “we the peoples,”
and why the UN under Ban stopped moving toward, or even talking
about, a Freedom of Information Act.
a FOIA, the
Senior UN Official replied, “ask the member states, let them
legislate, then we'll do it.” He pauses. “If the member states
insist, our way of decision making would have to be modified” for
“this kind of perfect transparency.” So, no UN FOIA. So much
for transparency. Watch this site.
* * *
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.