Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

At UN, Skanska Worked Before New $66.8M Contract, Which It Calls $65M, Follow the Money

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 5 -- How does the UN choose to whom to pay money, and how much to pay?

Amid hoopla at the UN about its UMOJA computer system upgrade in Lebanon, Inner City Press reported on whistleblowers' complaints that PriceWaterhouseCoopers got contract after contract without things ever going out to bid again.

  On July 1 when UMOJA launched in Lebanon, Inner City Press began to ask about UMOJA and this at the noon briefing, but this was disallowed despite the brevity of the noon briefing.

But on July 2, Inner City Press managed to ask about another strange contract:

Deputy Spokesperson: Matthew, last question?

Inner City Press: I got a couple on Sudan; one about money. Which do you…?

Deputy Spokesperson: Money.

Inner City Press: All right. Skanska announced today and put out a press release that they have been awarded $65 million contract for the renovation of the General Assembly Building. But the timing seemed strange, because it’s already been fenced off and people thought that they’d already been given this whole contract. So is there some way to know, did they release a second contract to Skanska and was it done competitively? And if it wasn’t done competitively, why wait until now that it is already fenced off? Isn’t Skanska already working on the building?

Deputy Spokesperson: We’ll have to find out for you, Matthew; I don’t have that information with me.

  It took a couple of days, but an answer did come in today, unlike on the UN Mine Action Service chief in Somalia David Bax sharing information with US intelligence, or which Congolese Army units Herve Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping supports:

Subject: Your question (from 2 July) on Skanska
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 12:49 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

The United Nations, on 2 July 2013, signed a contract for a portion of the renovation of the General Assembly Building with Skanska USA Building Inc. The value of the contract is $66.8 million. (Please note that the news release you based your questions on quoted $65 million as the value of the contract. That number is not correct.)

The United Nations selected Skanska USA Building Inc. as Construction Manager for the Capital Master Plan in July 2007 in a competitive bidding process. For each phase of the renovation of the UN Headquarters the UN negotiates separate guaranteed maximum price contracts with the Construction Manager. The UN has the option to negotiate contracts with other construction companies, if it disagrees with Skanska’s pricing.

The General Assembly Building was closed for construction on 31 May 2013. Work performed by Skanska before the signing of the contract was authorized in the form of task orders, which was funded outside of this guaranteed maximum price contract.

  This seems to be the way PriceWaterhouseCoopers kept getting UMOJA contracts -- the UN could have gone back to market but said it wasn't required to. What triggers actual competition? Tellingly, Skanska began to work and get paid before the new contract was agreed to.

Here, Skanka's own press release says $65 million; the UN says $66.8 million. What's $1.8 million between friends? We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]