As UNOPS Wants New Posts, Hides
Procurement Audit and Mattsson's Disclosure
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 19 -- With the world and UN
in a financial crisis, an obscure operations arm of the UN, the Office
Project Services (UNOPS) has proposed new Assistant Secretary General
Director-level posts, drawing a rebuke and adverse recommendation by
Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Matters. Click here
won't matter: sources say that UNOPS Executive Director Jan Mattsson
new posts to dole out to gain political favor, including perhaps the
position at the UN Development Program, being vacated by Kemal Dervis.
may be in with Ban Ki-moon as well. In preparation is a Secretary
Bulletin which would give Mattsson even more autonomy on personnel
matters. It should be noted that Mattsson has not even followed
Ban's call to make basic public financial disclosure - click here
for Mattsson's refusal.
the UN, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesperson Michele Montas if the
Secretariat thinks it's appropriate for UNOPS to create these new high
posts, and if so why. Montas did not directly answer, saying instead
"UNDP has its own governing board... They will discuss and reach
decisions." Video here,
from Minute 15:03.
But Ban is
at the top of the system, and said he would reform it. Instead, he has
and even encouraged wasteful fiefdoms. He claims he has no power, while
preparing a Bulletin to belatedly make that the fact.
UNOPS' Mattsson in Liberia, at right,
financial disclosure not shown
sources, beyond telling Inner City Press that "obviously, this
to all UNOPS directors are caused by the need for the ED and Deputy ED [Vitaly
Vanshelboim] to have many D2s reporting to them so that
they could justify the
upgrade of themselves" is "a slap in the face to the common UNOPS
staff who have borne cuts and dismissal for some time," tell of a
audit of UNOPS performed as one of the final acts of the UN Procurement
A source tells Inner City Press
that "a copy of the report was recently given to
- as I understood, that is the only current distribution. Member states
possibly be able to request a copy - eventually. The cost of the
was several $100 thousand (probably between $0.5 and 1 million) which
charged to the troubled agency."
already been embroiled in corruption scandals, including firing whistleblowers
at its Dubai hub and soliciting and spending a slush fund in
its shift of
jobs from New York to Copenhagen, along with irregularities in the
use of Daily Sustenance Allowance. Since Mattsson
refuses financial disclosure, would his Deputy Vitaly
Vanshelboim be expect to disclose, if given a promotion
to Assistant Secretary General?
recently, reports from
Afghanistan indicate UNOPS involvement in a European-funded hospital
in fact was built as described. UNOPS stonewalls the press. In fact,
site does not include contact information for any spokesperson. The
UNOPS website brags that it has apppointed its own Ethics Office to
protect whistleblower from retailiation, but does not provide contact
information for or even the name of the supposed Ethics Officer.
Press is told of, within UNOPS, a "scadalous violation of employee
which makes a mockery of the internal justice system." More on this
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Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
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and this October 17 debate, on
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