UN Creates New Post to Investigate Waste
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Addressing repeated complaints of U.N. waste and mismanagement, Secretary- General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on Tuesday created a new post to police the way U.N. money is spent.
Mohamed Aly Niazi, a fellow Egyptian and U.N. insider who had previously been in charge of internal U.N. audits, was appointed to take charge of the new watchdog agency.
Asked whether such an insider could be objective, spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told reporters Niazi is expected to take a ″responsible and zealous look″ at management problems.
But a congressional critic blasted the move as ″window-dressing.″ Sen. Larry Pressler, R-S.D., said in a statement the investigator lacks the authority and independence to do a good job and will be using ″the same personnel, the same bureaucracy that has been part of the U.N.’s serious mismanagement problems.″
The United States, the biggest contributor to the U.N. budget, has complained for years that the United Nations is poorly equipped to investigate corruption, waste and mismanagement.
It has been pressing for appointment of an inspector general, similar to the post found in many U.S. federal agencies. Niazi will be called Assistant Secretary-General for Inspections and Investigations.
Boutros-Ghali said that although Niazi will start his job Sept. 1, creation of a higher-level post with broader authority will not be proposed until the fall of 1994.
Boutros-Ghali assumed office two years ago with pledges to reform the sprawling bureaucracy, which employs more than 50,000 people worldwide.
The Clinton administration wants to show wary members of Congress it is taking a tough line against waste and corruption at the United Nations, to increase support for Washington to pay $786 million in outstanding regular and peacekeeping U.N. dues.
Pressler has drafted legislation to withhold some of U.S. voluntary contributions unless the administration certifies that a permanent, independent U.N. investigator is appointed and conducts regular audits.
″The American taxpayer needs to be assured that his dollars are not being stolen or needlessly wasted by the U.N.,″ Pressler said.
Among the problems facing the United Nations is an investigation into alleged irregularities in bidding for helicopter contracts for U.N. peacekeeping. Eight top U.N. procurement officers have been suspended.