Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Mr. Sha Zukang - how much eternity cost in DESA?

We hoped that the reforms promised by Ban Ki-moon would have had an effect and change the existing view that the UN is one of the MOST CORRUPT organization in the world.

But unfortunately, DESA still seems to act within its old framework of using an antiquated system of nepotism, personal ties, preservation of self-interest. This is the DESA system. What's important is fostering your connections and not improving productivity or performance. Who your connections are is the most important qualification than abilities and skill in judging who stays or who goes. 

For example, a director who has retired a long time ago is kept on DESA payroll as a consultant and as head of a project just because of his connections. This despite the fact that the partners of the project don't like him at all. He has antagonized the project's partners and has been a major headache to the technical staff who are fostering these ties to ensure that they get more project funding. 

The irony is that the same technical staff gets screwed over by their boss since once the money comes in, TCMS will use that money to get this 65 years old man a longer consultancy contract, and screw the staff who actually do the work and who are extended from month-to-month. He even has the brashness to inform them that they may not be renewed any longer because the project is running out of money. Meanwhile he is cooking up a scheme to get himself a one year contract that will give him all the benefits that he used to enjoy as Director. But who will do the work? That's a good question. Why not hire interns from Columbia or NYU or any willing victim to do the work that the technical staff and hope that they give him the same results. But the partners of the project are threatening to pull out when this happens. Does he care? No, because he already has allotted himself a year's worth of pay plus benefits, for not mentioning DSAs for travels and millions of free air-miles that he might not be able to use for the rest of his life even if he flies every week.

Why do you keep these kind of people in DESA Mr. Sha Zukang?!

Another thing, the continuous post thing should work both ways. Who evaluates the supervisors that evaluates the administrative staff? Who polices their activities certainly not their immediate superiors not with the system that is existing now. Where one's boss used to be a colleague that got promoted through one's influence or assistance or in some case the one who's director now used to be working under this supervisor before he relinquished his post. So what do you do - turn a blind eye and walk on. This continuous post thing will not work unless specific guidelines and policies are laid down and enforced. Only in the UN will you see administrative staff who don't know how to use basic word processing or spreadsheet work. If that happened in realms outside UN you either get trained, leave or laid off.

Does reform fall solely in Ban-Ki Moon's shoulders? Don't think so. You Mr. Sha Zukang have accepted this job to make reality Ban Ki-moon's promises for reform inside UN/DESA. It is your job to ensure that such reforms happen. Stop sleeping Mr. Sha and wake up both of your ASGs who have accumulated more air-miles than a full time transatlantic pilot. Start reforming DESA now and where is needed - shake up the system and re-appoint people who are under performing or are not doing anything at all. 

You promised us in the town hall that we would see some kind of improvement. The fact is that we are not. If you think that your achievement was just to get the USG Tag in your chest, than you got it already two years ago, if you cant do the job move along and let someone else do it. 

We have seen enough of cronyism inside DESA so far.

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