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UN announces changes in management at troubled UN agency

October 7, 1997

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Secretary-General Kofi Annan has replaced the head of a U.N. housing agency that has been strongly criticized for ``significant shortcomings″ by top management.

The United States has encouraged Annan to crack down waste and inefficiency in the world organization before Washington will pay its arrears, estimated between $900 million and $1.4 billion.

On Tuesday, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard announced that Darshan Johal, a Canadian, had been named acting director of the U.N. Center for Human Settlements, or Habitat.

Eckhard said the current director, Wally N’Dow, will be returning to the U.N. Development Program.

Habitat, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, was established after the first U.N. human settlements program in 1976 to help improve housing and to address urban problems, particularly in the Third World.

In a report released last April, the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services said management at Habitat was so bad that to allow it to continue ``would be reprehensible.″

Among other things, the report found the agency had inadequate financial controls, gave employees tasks they did not do, kept outside consultants on the payroll too long and exaggerated job descriptions to justify promotions.

The report found that N’Dow spent so much time trying to organize last year’s Conference on Human Settlements in Turkey that the daily running of the Nairobi headquarters was delegated to two aides.

Eckhard said the oversight committee had reported that N’Dow cooperated fully with the investigation of his office.

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