New Fiscal Lions at UN Headquarters

By Sherman M. Funk and Jeffrey Laurenti. Sherman M. Funk was inspector general of the State Department . Jeffrey Laurenti is executive director of multilateral studies Nations Association of the United States. | The Christian Science Monitor, August 16, 1994 | Go to article overview

New Fiscal Lions at UN Headquarters


Sherman M. Funk and Jeffrey Laurenti. Sherman M. Funk was inspector general of the State Department . Jeffrey Laurenti is executive director of multilateral studies Nations Association of the United States., The Christian Science Monitor


THE recent creation of an independent inspector general by the United Nations General Assembly will go far toward expanding the capabilities of the UN. Strict financial oversight and strengthened accountability will generate greater confidence in UN operations and increase public demands for the UN to deal with humanitarian disasters, conflict control, and other urgent problems.

The irony is that many demands for the new post came from American antagonists of the UN - while resistance initially ran strong among many UN diplomats who eyed it suspiciously as a poison pill prescribed by UN bashers. So its establishment must be counted a victory for President Clinton's much-maligned foreign-policy team, which constructively refocused the UN debate. Perhaps for that reason, partisan critics on the right now stridently deny American success.

The UN's own fiscal oversight bodies have repeatedly called for a strong, independent oversight office - insisting that the UN's archaic and disorganized internal reporting requirements kept not only the outside world, but even senior UN officials, from knowing the severity of its fiscal problems. The abuses they discovered - while no match for the fabled $300 hammers and of Pentagon lore - were bad enough to stir a wave of indignation that shook the UN's complacent establishment.

For a remedy, United States politicians turned to a model of their own recent invention - the inspectors general that Congress pioneered in the federal government in response to widespread fraud and abuse in federal agencies two decades ago. Established over the opposition of virtually every agency, US inspectors generally have proved successful in stinging departments into more effective performance.

Essential to this success is their independence. Previous audit, evaluation, and investigative units could only be timid lambs when higher-ups growled at them to back off. Now, working for independent inspectors general, they have become lions. We may expect the same at the UN. Statutes guarantee independence to inspectors general by requiring Senate confirmation, permitting their removal only by the president (not department heads), and mandating full transmittal of their reports to the Congress. These safeguards have yielded more open governance and more economical administration; brought billions in hard savings; protected whistle blowers; and subjected wrongdoers at all levels to administrative or criminal punishment. It was only natural that the US should propose applying the inspector-general model to the UN.

Washington's initiative coincided with growing frustration in New York with the UN secretariat's habits of inertia and timidity - acquired during decades of East-West and North-South hostilities. UN bodies of experts, frustrated by years of secretariat stonewalling of reform, called pointedly for independent oversight. Moreover, the French were calling for a UN legal procedure to deal with corruption in the secretariat, since fraud by international civil servants is rarely punishable under national law, and the UN has no power to administer any penalty beyond dismissal. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New Fiscal Lions at UN Headquarters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.