Accountability? We don't Need No Stinkin' Accountability!
What???? No whistleblower program in place at the UN? I'm shocked..SHOCKED!
U.N. STAFF OUTRAGE
By NILES LATHEM
June 15, 2004 -- WASHINGTON Â— Many U.N. employees fear reprisals from their bosses if they step forward with information on the Iraq oil-for-food scandal or report other allegations of corruption, according to a shocking internal survey released yesterday.
A recent poll of 6,086 employees and managers released on the U.N. Web site revealed that the staff has little faith in the world body leadership's commitment to ethics and integrity and that most believe that when allegations of wrongdoing surface, they are not properly handled.
The survey, conducted by an outside consulting firm for the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight, also revealed that a large plurality of the staffers feel unprotected from reprisals for reporting violations because the United Nations does not have strong enough whistleblower protection and is run by an "old-boys network."
The report said 45.2 percent of the staff gave "unfavorable" responses to questions about whether they are protected from reprisals if they report wrongdoing while only 7.4 percent gave "favorable" responses.
"Most of the infrastructure to support ethics and integrity is in place, accountability is not. There are perceived weaknesses" such as protection from reprisal for identifying those who violate the guidelines, the report said in summary of staffers' perceptions.
"More importantly, the staff seems to wonder: Who can or should be held accountable if leaders and supervisors are not? Who can care much about ethics and integrity if leaders, supervisors and staff appear not to care?" the report added.
The release of the survey comes at a time when the credibility of the United Nations is facing its most severe test amid allegations of wholesale corruption within the $100 billion U.N.-administered Iraq oil-for-food program.
The General Accounting Office estimated that Saddam Hussein stole $10.1 billion through oil smuggling and kickbacks from suppliers of humanitarian goods.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is also facing questions after revelations that his son was hired by a Swiss company that received a U.N. contract.
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