UNDP To Pay Whistleblower 14 Months Back Pay for
Lack of Due Process, Oversight Must Increase
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
June 27 -- The UN Ethics Office has
recommended that the UN Development Program pay as restitution 14
pay to the whistleblower
who exposed irregularities in the agency's programs in
North Korea. Ethics Officer Robert
Benson, in an eight-page
report, specifically finds a lack of due process. UNDP
rushed out a statement that its senior management is in the
studying the recommendations [but w]e also believe that there was full
is not the
first time UNDP has disagreed with the UN's specialist Ethics Office.
Office found a prima facie case of retaliation by UNDP, the agency's
Kemal Dervis declined to follow the recommendation that he allow the
Office to conduct an investigation. Instead, Dervis appointed his own
"Independent Review Panel."
City Press asked the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad about
report, and attempts by UNDP to re-open its program in North Korea.
Khalilzad responded, "We believe the recommendations of the Independent
Review Panel, and there are quite a set of them, especially that audits
be made available" and about "not appropriate oversight... need to be
implemented." Amb. Khalilzad
continued, on camera,
"We want to see a plan... a timeline."
UNDP's Dervis getting money from Spain
- now to be paid to whistleblower for lack of due process?
The IRP said Shkurtaj had no right to
continue in his job, and so couldn't be retaliated against. Benson
the IRP applied to weak a burden of proof on UNDP, but then takes at
that when Shkurtaj was having a job taken away, those doing it did not
complaints against Shkurtaj springing from his whistleblowing. As noted
Ethics Office report, the "Independent Review Panel" strangely went
out of its way to denigrate the whistleblower, Artjon Tony Shkurtaj,
providing him any opportunity to comment or rebut. To many, this
the IRP doing the (hit) job assigned to it by Dervis. Well before any
were in, Dervis told reporters that they would soon see why UNDP could
rehire Shkurtaj. Now the Ethics Office has recommended that UNDP pay 14
back pay as restitution. Some now question, could or should this come
Mr. Dervis' ample compensation? Or perhaps more appropriately, from
Director Ad Melkert?
wag, from the $280,000 wrongful taken by UNDP's Eveline Herfkens, money
refuses to return while UNDP defends her.
* * *
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