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Annan prepares for privatisation of UN
The Business Online ^ | 2/11/06 | Joe Lauria and Fraser Nelson

Posted on 02/11/2006 7:44:32 PM PST by NormsRevenge

THE United Nations has drawn up plans to privatise the bulk of its staff at its New York headquarters or have their work done more cheaply overseas. The move is in response to mounting demands for reform from the United States, its biggest paymaster.

The Business has learned that Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, has commissioned a study into the outsourcing of the department for General Assembly and Conference ­Management, the main UN ­decision-making body whose officials issue about 200 documents a day in six languages.

The move comes as the UN grapples with the oil-for-food scandal in which officials have been accused of taking bribes from Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Annan will report by the end of February on management reforms to the General Assembly. According to an internal UN document previewing Annan’s report obtained by The Business, he will include “proposals to outsource or off-shore select administrative processes” – suggesting its New York headquarters may shed staff.

Annan is reviewing the study conducted for the UN by US consulting firms Epstein & Fass Associates and Faulkner & Associates. Their preliminary study, which The Business has seen, makes no firm recommendations. But it examines three privatisation possibilities, from the most conservative to the most radical:

* Maintain the status quo of in-house operations, but save money and create efficiency through greater use of technology and eliminating more than 200 jobs through attrition by 2009;

* Retain a core of in-house functions while outsourcing some operations, along the lines of a similar exercise by the World Bank and IMF;

* Spin off the General Assembly department entirely as a for-profit, private company or an independent unit with some control by the secretariat.

The study gives frank assessments of the risks with privatisation, especially guarding privileged information and interrupting projects if new contractors are hired. It concedes privatisation may not save money. “Outsourcing does not guarantee reduced cost”, which “depends on market factors, and also… on how outsourcing is managed”, it says.

The Bush administration has made an overhaul of management a centrepiece of its UN reform programme. John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN, once said that if the New York headquarters lost 10 of its 38 floors, “it wouldn’t make a bit of difference”. He is leading an effort to move the UN towards the efficiency of a private company, including transforming the deputy secretary general into a chief operating officer and demanding that tasks are done by merit, not geography.

Christopher Burnham, a former Bush State Department chief financial officer, was named UN undersecretary general in charge of management last June and declared the UN needed to “refocus on those areas where we have a competitive advantage”.

Rick Grenell, spokesman for the US mission, told The Business the Bush administration had no position on outsourcing. “Our position is that the UN needs to function better,” Grenell said. “We need to look at all ways to make that better. No one is talking about cutting jobs or turning out lights. Talking about outsourcing is way ahead of the game.”

But there has been growing pressure from Washington on the UN to cut costs. The US pays 22% of the UN’s general budget. France pays 6.4%, the UK 5.5%, China 1.53% and Russia 1.2%. All five can wield a veto on war-making decisions.

Congressman Henry Hyde’s proposed UN Reform Act of 2005 would withhold 50% of US dues unless at least 32 of 39 proposed reforms are adopted – a clear indication of pressure intended to break the deadlock.

Some staff fear privatisation would cause a cultural shift at the organisation where international civil servants have been chosen through competitive exams for more than 60 years.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: annan; prepares; privatisation; unitednations; unreform

1 posted on 02/11/2006 7:44:33 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

The Bush administration has made an overhaul of management a centrepiece of its UN reform programme. John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN, once said that if the New York headquarters lost 10 of its 38 floors, “it wouldn’t make a bit of difference”. He is leading an effort to move the UN towards the efficiency of a private company, including transforming the deputy secretary general into a chief operating officer and demanding that tasks are done by merit, not geography.


2 posted on 02/11/2006 7:45:42 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Do you think this will go forward?


3 posted on 02/11/2006 7:48:06 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: NormsRevenge; Indy Pendance

At first I thought this was Scrappleface.


4 posted on 02/11/2006 7:54:06 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
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To: Paleo Conservative

I was hoping this is real. It's a start if it happens. Money talks.


5 posted on 02/11/2006 7:59:11 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Indy Pendance

.....Do you think this will go forward?.....

Something has to be done, the UN is spending 75% of it's budget on salaries. No organization can produce any "work" with that imbalance.


6 posted on 02/11/2006 8:01:48 PM PST by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Paleo Conservative

The loud sucking sound you hear is the outsourcing of billions of dollars worth of patronage sinecures, and outright terrorists right out of New York. Do my taxes really have to subsidize foreign agents whom at their best wish this country no good? Don't answer that question.


7 posted on 02/11/2006 8:05:09 PM PST by Calusa ( "The ACLU, ... has grown tiresome...does not embody the reasonable person.")
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To: Indy Pendance

If it doesn't we should withdraw all financial support,, period. That we have even continued to support it to the extent we have is a bit of a stretch.

It's like throwing good money after bad as it cureently functions or malfunctions, I should say.


8 posted on 02/11/2006 8:05:32 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ncountylee
The UN is useless. It's a shame they got the land for free from a 'rockefeller' and we can't kick them out of the country. (4th paragraph at link)

"The headquarters of the United Nations is located in New York City. The General Assembly building and the Secretariat were built in 1949 and 1950 on land donated by the Rockefeller family. The property is now considered international territory. Under special agreement with the United States, certain diplomatic privileges and immunities have been granted, but generally the laws of New York City, New York State, and the United States apply."

9 posted on 02/11/2006 8:06:53 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: NormsRevenge

And all that prime real estate smack dab in NY City.


10 posted on 02/11/2006 8:07:36 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Indy Pendance; NormsRevenge; ken5050

"And all that prime real estate smack dab in NY City."


To paraphrase Browning,

If Big Apple's reach doth not the U.N. grasp,
then what's a KELO for?



(original: But a man's reach should exceed his grasp... or what's a Heaven for--Robert Browning)


11 posted on 02/11/2006 8:31:00 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (SAVE THE BRAINFOREST! Boycott the RED Dead Tree Media & NUKE the DNC Class Action Temper Tantrum!)
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To: NormsRevenge

"...have their work done more cheaply overseas."

Does that mean when you call the United Nations you will talk to a guy named Raj in India?


12 posted on 02/11/2006 8:37:12 PM PST by no dems ("99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name." Steven Wright)
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To: NormsRevenge
I think they ought to move the UN to communist China.

It would be a laugh a minute to see all those staff people able to run all over China with diplomatic immunity!

13 posted on 02/11/2006 8:41:02 PM PST by nightdriver
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To: no dems
The study gives frank assessments of the risks with privatisation, especially guarding privileged information and interrupting projects if new contractors are hired. It concedes privatisation may not save money. “Outsourcing does not guarantee reduced cost”, which “depends on market factors, and also… on how outsourcing is managed”, it says.

This is likely the first time I've ever agreed with the U.N...

Someone tell Bill Gates, Craig Barrett, and the other outsourcing whore CEO's...

Cheers!

14 posted on 02/11/2006 9:22:53 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: NormsRevenge

End it, don't mend it!


15 posted on 02/11/2006 9:51:40 PM PST by endthematrix (None dare call it ISLAMOFACISM!)
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To: ncountylee

What sort of work, beyond mindless reams of paper that no one ever bothers to read, does or should the United Nations produce? Paper and toner are rather cheap.


16 posted on 02/11/2006 9:58:41 PM PST by dufekin (US Senate: the only place where the majority [44 D] comprises fewer than the minority [55 R])
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To: Indy Pendance
"That land is now considered international territory"

I say we remove that tumor before it spreads. Quickly!
17 posted on 02/11/2006 10:45:38 PM PST by proud_yank (Good intentions + bad information = Recipe for disaster.)
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To: NormsRevenge
He is leading an effort to move the UN towards the efficiency of a private company, including transforming the deputy secretary general into a chief operating officer and demanding that tasks are done by merit, not geography"


now, if he can move the UN towards, let's say ,Estonia...that would be helpful
18 posted on 02/11/2006 11:16:09 PM PST by kajingawd (" happy with stone underhead, let Heaven and Earth go about their changes")
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To: NormsRevenge

The UN is USless.


19 posted on 02/12/2006 12:23:00 AM PST by Cobra64
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To: NormsRevenge; All
Click this picture & go to the "last" for the latest UN scandals:


If you aren't informed about this stuff, you will be made sick. If you are informed, you will be made mad, all over again.

20 posted on 02/12/2006 3:47:56 AM PST by backhoe
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To: nightdriver

LOL! I like the way that you think.

I think there might be a bunch of dead UN diplomats if they acted there, the way that they do here.


21 posted on 02/12/2006 5:01:15 AM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: bill1952

Put the IEAE in Iran.
Put UNICEF in Darfur.
Put the human rights commission in Beijing.
Put technology in Mianimmar.
Put the Security Council in Paris.
Put a Hilton on the East Side of Manhattan.


22 posted on 02/12/2006 5:17:08 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz ("We don't need POLITICIANS...we need STATESMEN.")
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To: NormsRevenge

What Koffi is really after is a UN global tax on every living human being, regardless of country. He'll say how much and when. Reach right into your pocket and grab.


23 posted on 02/12/2006 5:18:00 AM PST by hershey (enmark)
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To: NormsRevenge

The first 200 laid off are the car valets, aren't they????


24 posted on 02/13/2006 4:33:14 PM PST by ridesthemiles
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