UNITED NATIONS. WATCHDOG. WHISTLE BLOWERS.

 

FROM A CONCERNED STAFFER: ANY WATCHDOG GROUP TO PROTECT THE WHISTLEBLOWERS?

15 March 2006

Obviously not. Do you remember the letter on the mismanagement in DPI? It seems that the author of the letter, as well as her colleagues, are being intimidated by their superiors: the Head of the department publicly twice (at the Glen Cove gathering and at a latest town hall meeting) called our courageous colleague's outcry "malicious and irresponsible," alleging that calling attention to the wrongdoing "undermined morale in DPI" and that her letter had no legality because the author "did not go through proper channels."

I re-read the letter of our colleague once again. It was anything but "malicious" and definitely sounded like a reaction of a very responsible person. Everything in the letter sounded true and authentic according to my personal last-years experience in this department. Going through the proper channels? It looked to me that the ICS staff raised their concerns at all levels with no result and the author of the now famous letter spoke to the DPI front office colleague before going to the OIOS. On the other hand, the Head of DPI was not going through the proper channels for sure: he passed judgment while his very judgment was being questioned.

Would not an official investigation be more proper? Should not the DPI Head's statements be construed as intimidating, as regards the DPI staff, and libelous as regards the otherwise excellent reputation of our colleague who dared to say the truth? Is not retaliation considered misconduct under the new U.N. rules?

It all happens at the time when we expect the honesty and the wisdom from our managers, not witch hunts. Hopefully, we are not undertaking yet another rhetorical exercise when we encourage staff to come forward about the perceived misdeeds and speak about their protection. Hopefully, anonymous letters are not the only weapon for the U.N. staff!
-- Anonymous letter received from a U.N. staff member