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UN oversight body faults decision-making at world body's drug control office

UN oversight body faults decision-making at world body's drug control office

Under-Secretary-General Dileep Nair
After reviewing administrative practices at the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), the UN oversight body has found flawed decision-making and urged top management to create a more collegial environment.

In a report released today at UN Headquarters, the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) concludes that the major weaknesses of ODCCP "stem from over-centralized and heavily personalized decision-making and the absence of institutional mechanisms to ensure that programmes are properly conceived and efficiently executed and the results are assessed."

Introducing the report at a news conference in New York, the head of the oversight office, Under-Secretary-General Dileep Nair, said the "committed, resourceful and talented staff" working at ODCCP suffered from low morale. "The common view held was that there was no transparency in executive decisions, especially concerning personnel matters," he said. "While within some units structured dialogue on work matters was maintained, overall staff-management consultation or communication unfortunately was dysfunctional."

The report's findings were presented to ODCCP Executive Director Pino Arlacchi by OIOS officials who "made it clear that the management situation at the Office cannot be allowed to continue," Mr. Nair said. "OIOS urged the Executive Director and his senior management to institute drastic and immediate change."

"I must say that OIOS took note of the self-critical reaction of the Executive Director to the inspection's findings and recommendations and his assurance that remedial actions would be expeditiously executed," the Under-Secretary-General observed.

Mr. Nair emphasized that any corrective measures would only succeed "under one key condition - that is, the competence, professionalism and integrity of top management must be transparent, collegiate and must enjoy the trust of the staff."

The OIOS report was transmitted to the General Assembly by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In a cover letter accompanying the report, Mr. Annan says he "concurs with its recommendations and notes that measures are being taken to correct the issues addressed in the review."