Improving the Management and Coordination of Reviews, Inspections, and Evaluations in the U.N. System

ID-81-11: Published: Nov 19, 1980. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 1980.

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Ways in which management and coordination of reviews, inspections, and evaluations in the United Nations (U.N.) system can be improved are discussed. The primary methods of improvement must be through member governments and through increased support of the Joint Inspection Unit by the Department of State.

A number of actions were taken to improve the external and internal auditing and evaluations of U.N. activities. The creation of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) was one such improvement. The aim of JIU was to improve management and coordination in the U.N. system. The JIU had broad investigative powers covering all U.N. operations but had no specific evaluation responsibilities. Congress amended the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 at the suggestion of GAO. Instead of creating a new U.N. investigative body, the Department of State decided to urge the strengthening of JIU. With the change in the Foreign Assistance Act, JIU increased the number of inspectors and expanded its scope, but more can be done. GAO noted that the General Assembly is not always aware of the qualifications of inspector candidates. There is often a duplication of reviews and each group is not always aware of what others are working on.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should instruct the U.S. Mission and U.S. delegates to the U.N. to work with other member-country delegates to stress the need to encourage JIU to exchange and discuss work programs with other review groups, such as internal and external audit groups and other U.N. organizations involved in inspections and evaluations. In this regard, we believe the State Department, through its representatives to the United Nations, should continue to support the proposal to establish an Auditor General position and an expanded Board of Auditors.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should work through his representatives in the U.N. system and other member-government representatives to urge U.N. system organizations to complete their internal evaluation systems as quickly as possible, and provide evaluation results when practicable to all member-governments.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  3. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should instruct his representatives to the United Nations and the specialized agencies to work with other member-governments to formulate a request that JIU adopt specific review and reporting guidelines that will be made available to member-governments.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  4. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should instruct the U.S. Mission and U.S. delegates to the U.N. to work with other member-country delegates to stress the need to have U.N. organizations carefully consider requests to JIU, taking into account the needs of the U.N. system, and whether objectives can be accomplished through other means.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  5. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should work through his representatives in the U.N. system and other member-government representatives to urge U.N. organization executive heads to increase their commitments to evaluations.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  6. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should instruct the U.S. Mission and U.S. delegates to the U.N. to work with other member-country delegates to stress the need to annually publish the status of the JIU recommendations.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  7. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should work through his representatives in the U.N. system and other member-government representatives to seek to have JIU intensify its reviews of the evaluation reports.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  8. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should specifically task a senior officer to ensure that adequate support and attention is provided to the work and reports of JIU.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  9. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should instruct the U.S. mission and U.S. delegates to the U.N. to work with other member-country delegates to stress the need to consider and appoint highly qualified candidates as JIU inspectors who have experience which parallels the inspection and evaluation work performed by JIU, and that all General Assembly members have a chance to review and discuss the qualifications of the inspectors before deciding on the appointments.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

 

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