United Nations LBO (The Failing United Nations)
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Fri Nov 25 08:08:28 PST 2022
Our team at Bank.org is leveraging international graduate research
profiling Elon Musk's Twitter LBO ... A good case study for the failing
“If you look at U.N. innovation, you don’t find many people who have
actually innovated, or even started a company. It’s mostly run by U.N.
bureaucrats,” he said. “However, a bigger surprise is that the U.N. work
culture is fear based, which pushes the U.N. away from solving problems.”
NOV. 25, 2022 BY WILLIAM WORLEY
The saga of little-known but highly controversial United Nations agency
UNOPS has a new chapter. We have the latest on all the juicy details —
including allegations of fraud, abuse of power, and a “culture of fear.”
*Also in today’s edition:* Afghanistan’s development outlook, and a deal on
Zambia’s debt relief wavers.
You may recall Devex broke the story
April about irregularities in a multimillion-dollar investment initiative
spearheaded by the United Nations Office for Project Services, or UNOPS.
Well, an independent probe by auditing giant KPMG has now found *“indications
of fraud” and a massive breakdown of financial oversight*, my colleagues
Colum Lynch and Shabtai Gold reveal
KPMG’s Finland office paints a “damning portrait of managerial dysfunction
by top managers” at UNOPS as it expanded its role into the “high-stakes,
and lucrative, world of impact investing,” writes Colum, after he and
Shabtai waded through multiple draft reports. “A culture of fear created an
environment that allowed for management override of controls,” according to
one of the two KPMG reports. “The way of working by top management *further
indicates an abuse of power.”*
As part of its shift toward impact investing, UNOPS created an initiative
called Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation initiative,
known as S3i. It was run by Vitaly Vanshelboim — who was placed on
administrative leave during a U.N. oversight investigation into “possible
misconduct” — and aimed to secure private financing to build 1.3 million
affordable homes over the next decade in Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, India,
Pakistan, and across the Caribbean.
The reports allege that *UNOPS officials ignored numerous “red flags”* that
trouble was brewing, including from a whistleblower who claimed contracts
were overwhelmingly going to a single partner without competitive bidding
or a proper vetting system.
In response to the reports, UNOPS issued a statement saying it “takes all
findings extremely seriously and is committed to address all
recommendations under the direction of the Executive Board.”
*Scoop:* Review slams 'culture of fear' and other failings at UNOPS
*Recap:* What went wrong with UNOPS’ ambitious impact-investing initiative?
*And:* A Devex explainer giving you an inside look at the UNOPS scandal
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