UN reform money 'conditional and temporary'

11 July 2006
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12 July 2006 | Paul Snell

The money approved so far by the United Nations (UN) to reform its procurement department is insufficient, according to a senior US official.

Mark Wallace, US representative for UN management and reform at the US Mission to the UN - which assists the President and the Department of State on policy - said there was a "key deficiency" in the amount of money approved for procurement reform.

Last week the UN General Assembly approved $706,600 (£382,000) to begin procurement reforms recommended by secretary-general Kofi Annan (see News, 6 July).

The money will be used to improve internal controls in procurement and to hold business seminars for suppliers in developing countries.

However, it has approved enough money to fund extra procurement posts for six months only. Requests for additional funding have been deferred until the next meeting of the assembly in September.

In a statement Wallace said: "While the draft grants a small amount of resources to begin badly needed improvements to the UN's woefully inadequate purchasing functions, the conditional and temporary nature of the authorisation leaves us doubtful whether the UN can quickly and decisively repair this activity."

SMjul2006

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