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As UN Tried Recruiting Moon from ACABQ, History of Revolving Door, No Safeguards?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

WASHINGTON, January 10, updated Jan. 14 -- Should the UN have rules or a cooling off period before it can give a UN job to a member of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions which is supposed to be overseeing the UN?

  Recently whistleblowers exclusively told Inner City Press that to replace Warren Sach at the UN Office of Central Support Services, the UN was considering a member – now Vice Chair – of ACABQ, Richard Moon of the UK, as well as Paul Buades of Procurement and now the dubious MONUSCO Mission in the Congo.

  The danger in allowing such hiring from the ACABQ is that a putative overseer of the UN would “go soft” once he or she was being considered for a job with the UN. In the field of banking, regulators are prohibited from going to work for the banks they have regulated, for a particular period of time.

   But in the UN, no rules exist. Are there safeguards? Four times Inner City Press has asked the UN in writing about this on December 27:

"please deny or confirm / comment on the UN Secretariat's consideration of current ACABQ vice chair Richard Moon of the UK to head OCSS in the Department of Management, specifically what safeguards are in place given the potential for conflict of interest in offering a job to a person ostensibly objectively analyzing the Secretariat's budget and human resources proposals at ACABQ."

   Unlike other questions Inner City Press asked that day, the UN did not answer that one. On Decmeber 31, Inner City Press submitted a follow up, to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's top three spokespeople:

"While still awaiting a statement of the rules or safeguards applicable to the Secretariat hiring from the ostensibly independent ACABQ [see Q Dec 27 - 2], please confirm or deny that a relative of then ACABQ chair McLurg was hired by the contractor that runs the guided tours, including confirming or denying any UN role or rules, and anything on hirings from ACABQ of Fontaine Ortiz (Secretariat) and Ladjouzi (DPKO)."

  The UN has not answer any of this, ten days later. By contrast, Mr. Sach has graciously confirmed to Inner City Press that he is retiring in February. We wish him well. But what will happen next? Watch this site.

Update of Jan. 10, 1:12 pm -- An hour after publication of the above, the following came in:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: Your question on recruitment
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

Your questions on recruitment: We do not comment on recruitment processes that are under way. In the search for the most suitable person for a particular position, the Secretary-General takes great care to ensure the fairness and transparency of the process while protecting the privacy of the candidates and panel members.

  While any answer is appreciated, it would be easy to answer on if there are safeguards in recruiting from ACABQ, given its role of overseeing the Secretariat. Watch this site.

Update of January 14: Inner City Press is today informed that while there was some early consideration of the UK's Richard Moon for the OCSS position, that is over. Duly noted, minutes later.

 But the question on the need for safeguards when the UN Secretariat dangles jobs before members of ACABQ, or of the Fifth (Budget) Committee, still stands.

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