Improvements Needed in UNESCO's Management, Personnel, Financial, and Budgeting Practices

NSIAD-85-32: Published: Nov 30, 1984. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) management, budgeting, and personnel practices. The review was conducted in light of the December 1983 U.S. decision to withdraw from the agency at the end of 1984.

GAO found that U.S. dissatisfaction with UNESCO arose because the agency had: (1) become involved in political issues beyond the scope of its constitution; (2) introduced statist concepts emphasizing rights of states rather than individuals into some of its programs; (3) allowed its budget to grow without restraint; and (4) not properly managed its personnel, programs, or financial activities. GAO believes that, to improve agency management, the Secretariat of UNESCO needs to improve certain management areas, including: (1) increasing the Secretariat's day-to-day activities by the governing bodies; (2) re-examining the personnel system to identify ways of reducing recruiting delays and the heavy reliance on supplementary staff; (3) improving program evaluation and budget formulation; (4) improving certain financial controls; and (5) improving the Secretariat's responsiveness to external auditor recommendations.

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