- Arkansas voter ID law struck down by state judge
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Bad omen? Italian man crushed to death by John Paul II crucifix
- Company stopped from accepting abortion waste
- Girl surprises Michelle Obama with unemployed dad’s resume
- ‘Harry Potter’ religion class seeks to enlighten students on ‘God, sin, and theodicy’
- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
Audit sees little accomplished at U.N. center
NEW YORK — The division of the U.N. bureaucracy that is responsible for “good governance” badly mismanaged its Greece-based center to train public administrators in Mediterranean countries, providing little of substance during the center’s five-year existence, an audit by the U.N. watchdog has found.
The Washington Times obtained a copy of the audit of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, or DESA, which found “irregular” use of consultants and a failure to keep the Greek government apprised of its activities and accounting.
The audit was completed in November, but DESA officials have blocked its release.
In clear but restrained language, the U.N. Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) found that the U.N. Thessaloniki Center for Public Service Professionalism completed or produced few items on its agenda during the program’s final two years in operation.
Despite this, DESA spent about $600,000 on the center in 2004 and the same in 2005 before shuttering it.
“Given the center’s poor performance, it is obvious that DESA has failed in its responsibilities as the project’s executing agency,” the audit found. “Establishing accountability for this failure should enable DESA to strengthen its substantial management of technical cooperation projects and prevent such failures from reoccurring.”
The audit cited several examples of “irregularities in the selection of consultants,” who wrote reports that should have been completed by DESA staff or were incapable of providing the services for which they were hired.
The Thessaloniki Center was established in 1999 at the request of the government of Greece, which also funded the project with about $2.76 million over its five-year life span.
The center was conceived to train public servants in the Mediterranean region and former Soviet states to be more transparent, accountable and effective in running their respective government bureaucracies.
The OIOS audit paints the center as an expensive project, plagued by staffing troubles, spotty record-keeping and the inability to complete projects.
“No substantive activity was implemented in 2004. In 2005, only three events were held,” according to the OIOS report. It noted that “DESA was not committed to a single work plan against which it would monitor the performance” of the office.
DESA itself may have undercut the Greek center by opening in May 2003 a center in Italy, whose participating countries and objectives deeply overlapped with Thessaloniki’s, the report found.
The Greek center was closed in November.
U.N. auditors made four “critical” recommendations to improve DESA’s management of the Thessaloniki Center. However, DESA has taken the unprecedented step of rejecting them all, saying, in part, that since the center was closed, the recommendations should be dropped.
In a response to the OIOS findings, DESA officials said many of the center’s problems were attributable to poor performance by the two chief technical advisers hired to run it.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Holder cancels appearance in OKC amid angry protests
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- HURT: President Obama's 'Selfie Doctrine'
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014