This is the fourth round of the case we reported under UN Broken Justice, UN Internal Injustice and UN OIOS Inaction. This round shows the mismanagement and corruption inside the UN and how the organization continues to cover it up.
These definitions are useful in understanding the case: Appellant is the UN staff member who filed this complaint,is the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services, UNFPA ED is the UNFPA Executive Director, and DSA is Daily Subsistence Allowance, a financial payment that is also called per Diem.
The following are serious accusations of corruption against the UNFPA Executive Director, Ms. Thoraya Obaid, and the UNFPA Human Resources Director, Mr. Sean Hand, therefore, the accused have the right to respond and challenge these accusations. It should be mentioned that Appellant confirms submitting many documents supporting these accusations.
In July 2008, Appellant filed a complaint with the UN OIOS requesting an investigation targeting UNFPA, following are some excerpts from that complaint:
“In the course of 2006, there have been many questionable financial and managerial decisions by the UNFPA ED, for example, the UNFPA ED pressured me to process DSA for a staff member in her duty station, which is a clear violation of the UN financial rules. In her email dated 13 February 2006, the UNFPA ED wrote to me: “Meanwhile, she is on assignment basis- meaning she gets DSA etc. This is my understanding of the rule. Here we need to document what happened for the information of auditors if they ask.” The same staff member was kept in UNFPA headquarters for over 6 months with full salary and full DSA under the pretext of orientation and training, because of the pressure from the UNFPA ED, who wrote to me in her email of 29 September 2005: “I am not sure what plans you have for […] but she can not hang on until […]. Do you think it would be good to have her in NY to help in the division and to learn more about UNFPA systems etc. she can train on ATLAS, financial matters etc. with more hands on.” That email also shows the micromanagement style of the UNFPA ED…
Another example of the UNFPA ED lack of judgment and cultural sensitivity, even to her own culture, is the incident of the UNFPA ED defending one of her inner-circle confidants who, during the last […] meeting in […] and in front of 120 […] staff members, many of them are Muslims, made an insulting remark about the religion of Islam. Addressing the meeting, he said that Pakistani International Airlines (PIA) has such a poor safety record that PIA has come to mean Please Inform Allah. There was an instant outrage by many Muslims in the meeting who considered this statement to be defamation of the religion of Islam, such statements are is in stark violation of the UN Charter. To the surprise of everyone in the meeting room, the UNFPA ED took the floor and blamed Muslims for their lack of understanding and for their poor ability to communicate, instead of reprimanding her confidant for his insulting remarks. That confused position by the UNFPA ED shows complete lack of judgment and lack of any cultural sensitivity. I received numerous verbal complaints from the Division staff, all of them were afraid to speak out fearing the reprisal of the UNFPA ED, however, they felt deeply hurt and insulted by her statement and actions.
One last example of how UNFPA is managed almost as a “gang” is how the UNFPA ED rewards staff members who appease her and how she destroys staff members who may have different positions. Case in point is the extension of the contract for one year beyond the retirement age of the UNFPA Representative in […] because he helped the UNFPA ED in fabricating baseless allegations against me. Similarly, my deputy was rewarded by an appointment as UNFPA Representative in […], one of the largest UNFPA programmes, also for helping the UNFPA ED in fabricating baseless allegations against me. On the other hand, the UNFPA ED destroyed the UN careers of 2 senior staff members in the Division who tried to be fair during the campaign that the UNFPA ED waged against me; these are the UNFPA Representative in […] and the […] Coordinator.
In spite of the abuses of authority by the UNFPA ED with the full aiding and abetting of the UNFPA Human Resources Director, and in spite of the micromanagement style of the UNFPA ED, her mismanagement of the fund, and her relying mainly on managing UNFPA based on gossip with total disregard to due process; in spite of this negative work environment, [my Division] has achieved many successes and received many recognitions for the outstanding progress and achievements in such a short period of time since I joined UNFPA… I have copies of these documents.”
End of case quotation.
The Cover up
Despite these serious accusations, submitted in July 2008, as of the date of this article, Appellant confirms never receiving any response from OIOS regarding the outcome of that investigation or whether that investigation was ever initiated.
Was that another cover up by OIOS to protect Ms. Thoraya Obaid and Mr. Sean Hand from investigations of corruption accusations?
M. Alaadin A. Morsy
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