UN Effectiveness: Transparency and Accountability

Transparency and accountability across all of the UN system remains a top priority for the United States.  The U.S. Mission in Geneva is dedicated to ensuring that the UN Specialized Agencies located in Switzerland continually improve their administration and oversight to assure transparency and accountability.

Consistent with the demands of world leaders for a more “efficient, effective, transparent and accountable Organization,” the United States has identified key areas where Member States can exercise greater oversight and increase transparency and accountability to ensure that funds are utilized efficiently and effectively for their intended purpose.

These areas include:

  • Availability of internal audits and other reports, e.g. evaluations, investigations, etc. to Member States.
  • Public access to all relevant documentation related to operations and activities including budget information and procurement activities.
  • “Whistleblower Protection” policies.
  • Financial disclosure policies.
  • An effective Ethics Office.
  • Independent internal oversight bodies.
  • Transparent hiring practices based on competition and merit-based selection of qualified candidates.
  • Effective management of capital improvements and building renovations with the goal of reducing costs.
  • Selecting Senior Officials with executive experience and administrative capacities to assure continuous improvement and value for money at the Specialized Agencies.
  • Leadership and Management training for supervisors.

Links to useful reports on UN Effectiveness:

Transparency in the selection and appointment of senior managers in the United Nations secretariat
http://www.unjiu.org/data/reports/2011/JIU_REP_2011_02_Final.pdf

Review of travel arrangements within the United Nations system
http://www.unjiu.org/data/reports/2010/en2010_2.pdf

Ethics in the United Nations system
http://www.unjiu.org/data/reports/2010/en2010_3.pdf

For more reports from the Joint Inspection Unit
http://www.unjiu.org/en/index.htm

 

About the Joint Inspection Unit:

The Joint Inspection Unit is the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations system mandated to conduct evaluations, inspections and investigations system-wide. Its aims are:

  • To assist the legislative organs of the participating organizations in meeting their governance responsibilities in respect of their oversight function concerning management by the secretariats of human, financial and other resources;
  • To help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the respective secretariats in achieving the legislative mandates and the mission objectives established for the organizations;

 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports on Effectiveness in the UN System

Improved Reporting and Member States’ Consensus Needed for Food and Agriculture Organization’s Reform Plan
GAO-11-922, Sep 28, 2011
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-922

UN Internal Oversight: Progress Made on Independence and Staffing Issues, but Further Actions Are Needed
GAO-11-871, Oct 20, 2011
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-871