What is the definition of accountability? United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon may be about to find out.
Nearly a year ago Ban got a semi-public spanking from branches of the world organization that are supposed to oversee and fund his 22,000-person bureaucracy, including the 192-member General Assembly itself, for his proposals to reform the organization.
Now Ban is apparently back for more. The question is whether the result will be the same. The object of the institutional overseers’ disdain a year ago was Ban’s — in their view — less-than-impressive proposals to make the sclerotic and underperforming organization with a soaring budget, more efficient, effective and accountable.
They were contained in a turgid 53-page document entitled “Accountability framework, enterprise risk management and internal control framework and results-based management framework,” which it turned out was not written in Ban’s office but came from a management consultant firm, which was paid $1.8 million for the effort.
The General Assembly sent Ban and his consultants back to the drawing board and told him, in remarkably sharp prose, to try again. One thing that made the episode particularly painful for the South Korean secretary-general — for whom “face,” or public respect, is especially important — is that some of the storm of criticism came from parts of the bureaucracy that report directly to him, as well as from the nation states that sign the checks.
And already this time, a key U.N oversight body, representing all the 192 countries in the General Assembly, has fired off a 13-page broadside, obtained by Fox News, which takes Ban to task for some new and old failings in his latest purported effort to shake up the system.