May 2, 2007
The man going after Wolfowitz
Since the chief antagonist of Paul Wolfowitz on the matter of the settlement is Ad Melkert then head of the World Bank's Ethics Committee, readers might be interested in knowing what he is up to now. From the Inner City Press
UN sources continue to express surprise that Mr. Melkert's hiring of Eelco Keij, an operative from his political party, the Dutch Labor Party, has not triggered any formal review by UNDP or its Executive Board. And beyond direct personal conflicts of interest, these UN insiders enumerate Mr. Melkert's incongruous talk but no action on issues of ethics at UNDP since he has essentially run the agency.After taking the Number Two post at UNDP in early 2006, few ethics reforms have been enacted. Following criticism that blossomed from an inquiry into the irregular demotion of UNDP's head of human resources, Brian Gleeson, on November 29, 2006, Mr. Melkert attended a press conference in UN Headquarters on December 15 at which he said he would strive to make UNDP more transparent and more ethical -- "you ain't seen nothing yet," he later said.Four months later, we ain't seen nothing yet. Neither Ad Melkert nor Kemal Dervis have filed the Financial Disclosure forms which Ban Ki-moon and other top UN officials have filed, and which Mr. Ban has made public. At UNDP, there is still no Ethics Office. The simple reform of making UNDP internal audits available at least to members states which ask for them has not been enacted. In fact, Mr. Melkert did not even make the proposal to the UNDP Executive Board meetings in January 2007.
And according to the article, he is unlikely to make the proposal to the June meeting either.
Isn't it odd that with the media repeating Melkert's charges and his challenges to Wolfowitz' statement, no one has bothered to consider how what a hack he is. In the following New York Sun article (p. 2) they catch him in an outright lie about the UN's knowledge of the counterfeit US dollars in one of their safes.
And what does it say of the International Bureaucrats that an ethically challenged wastrel like him keeps getting put in charge of ethics?
UNITED NATIONS - With Washington critics increasingly directing their attacks at the management style of the World Bank's president, Paul Wolfowitz, a key figure in the battle over his post is the target of similar accusations.A former chairman of the World Bank's ethics committee, Ad Melkert, advised Mr. Wolfowitz on employing his girlfriend, who was serving as a top bank official when Mr. Wolfowitz became president. His advice, confirmed by documents released by the bank, has become a key component in the struggle over leadership of the World Bank, which has involved accusations that Mr. Wolfowitz's management style has created a lot of enemies at the bank.Coming to the U.N. Development Program from his post as the World Bank's ethics adviser, Mr. Melkert found an organization that does not even have such management tools as an ethics committee. Over a year later, one has not been created. According to a spokesman, David Morrison, the agency is currently awaiting a report about creating an ethics "function."
A former Dutch politician, Mr. Melkert's title is associate administrator, but he is universally considered the de facto top man at the agency that disperses $5 billion annually worldwide. Like the UNDP administrator, Kemal Dervis of Turkey, and his predecessor, Mark Malloch Brown of Britain, Mr. Melkert belongs to a class of officials who migrate between international organizations. According to internal UNDP ombudsman reports that, although not meant for publication, were seen by The New York Sun, management ills that have plagued the UNDP were not improved much under Mr. Melkert. "As in the past four periods, the abuse of authority heads the list," the 2006 report concluded.The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens offers us a look at other World Bank's critics of Wolfowitz, suggesting that should he be removed, it's time for a closer look into the Bank's operations. From his round up, I'd say it was imperative we do.
Here is a sample of Stephens' findings on Wolfowitz' opponents:* Dennis de Tray, who oversaw $25 billion dollars in loans to the corrupt Suharto regime in Indonesia and when called to account conceded widespread corruption which he suggested be overlooked and who "has publicly objected to the 'Puritan overtone to the current debate on corruption' and argued that Suharto's corruption 'created value for Indonesia . . . just as Sam Walton created value for the U.S.'"*Shengman Zhang, a former No. 2 at the bank who wife Lingzhi Xu, a World Bank employee during his tenure enjoyed a meteoric and unusual rise through the ranks;* Zhang and Xu's case is clearly one of favoritism and of nepotism which Mr. Stephens says is hardly unusual. "A 2005 report, prepared by the Bank's Human Resource department, noted "there were 581 couples with 193 'potential for supervision' [conflicts-of-interest] between spouses." Yet about these cases next to no corrective action has been taken, according to bank insiders."It is stupid for people in glass houses to throw stones.