Volcker shakes up UN audits

The main report of the Volcker inquiry into the United Nations’ oil-for-food
scandal could strengthen reformers within the global body seeking tougher
auditing controls and greater independence for its secretariat.

US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said the report underlined the need for
greater auditing and management controls, including an independent audit board.

However, Bolton warned that such proposals were being resisted in discussions
by countries that wanted ‘business as usual’, which he claimed that the ‘report
unambiguously rejected’.

But the embarrassing revelations of corruption from Paul Volcker have already
sparked piecemeal auditing reforms. New whistleblowers’ rules being rolled out
will enable a new ethics office to protect staff reporting misconduct.

The UN secretariat also wants directors and more senior officials to fill in
financial disclosure forms, although this will require the approval of the
General Assembly.

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