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

  For Syria Study, OHCHR Paid Benetech $25,000 But Selection Process Not Yet Disclosed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 4 -- After the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced on January 2 that 60,000 people have been killed in Syria, Inner City Press asked OHCHR and its contractor Benetech how Benetech had been selected, and how much it got paid.

  The how-much we can now report, answered by OHCHR: $25,000. But how was Benetech picked?

  One basis for the question was Benetech's human rights project's listed funders, including the US State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy.

  With all due respect, Inner City Press has asked OHCHR if "perceived independence (including from funding by the foreign ministries of P5 countries with a strong position on Syria) played a role in the assessment and selection" of Benetech, and how exactly Benetech was selected, from among how many bidders?

  Benetech itself had told Inner City Press, "Yes, there was an RFP for this project. For the specific selection mechanism, you should contact OHCHR who can provide the details."

   Understanding that OHCHR's hardworking spokesperson was busy with larger if not more critical media, Inner City Press waited some hours and then published a story, which was picked up in the UK Guardian. When the next day January 3 OHCHR did respond, this Inner City Press questioning, quoted in the Guardian, was characterized as "casting aspersions."

  Inner City Press replied that it's not " casting aspersions to ask questions about how the contractor was selected, and to note who the contractor's other funders are... To listen to the doubts of some Security Council members and try to get to the bottom of how the selection of contractor was made is, I think, journalism, maybe more so than just slavishly reporting what a UN agency is saying."

   OHCHR has for now said "We agreed to pay 25,000 dollars for the work, and yes due procedure was followed."

  But what procedure is that?  Many readers have written in; hence this interim story.

  Inner City Press has asked, "Is the Request for Proposals public? How many companies responded? What criteria were used?" We anticipate answers, despite being told in advance it is a waste of time, on Monday, January 7. 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-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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]