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“The United Nations is at the centre of the international response to global crises facing the world today. Renewed multilateralism means that more and more people are turning to us for action,” Mr. Ban said in remarks on the 15th anniversary of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). “To keep pace with these growing demands, we need to continually strengthen and improve our own operations. That means greater transparency, increased efficiency and more accountability,” he stated, adding that OIOS is vital to this effort.Mr. Ban noted that in any complex organization with such a broad agenda that affects so many lives, strong leadership and dedicated management are critical. “So, too, is a professional oversight body, working as an agent of change and contributing to the common goal of delivering solid results for the people we serve.”OIOS was established in July 1994 by the General Assembly as an operationally independent entity to assist the Secretary-General in oversight responsibilities with respect to the resources and staff of the Secretariat through monitoring, internal audit, inspection, evaluation and investigation.The Office, headed by Inga-Britt Ahlenius, has the authority to initiate, carry out and report on any action it considers necessary to fulfil its responsibilities regarding its oversight functions.Each year it issues more than 200 reports, and more than 1,500 recommendations to improve internal controls and correct underlying obstacles to organizational efficiency and effectiveness.Mr. Ban highlighted progress on a number of fronts, including the establishment of an Ethics Office that provides protection for whistleblowers and the tightening of rules on procurement and on financial disclosure by senior officials.In addition, the Secretary-General has established compacts with each of his senior managers, with performance published on the Intranet. “Results matter. Performance must be measurable,” he said, referring to the compacts, which cover many aspects of performance such as the implementation of oversight recommendations. “These are just some of the steps we have taken in recent years. But the journey continues. While we have made progress in several key areas, the process of renewal and reform goes on – precisely as it should,” said Mr. Ban.He pledged to continue to extend his full support to OIOS and to the two other members of the UN oversight family, the Board of Auditors and the Joint Inspection Unit. “Let us together pledge to do our utmost to use our resources responsibly; to improve our performance at all levels, at all locations; and, in the broadest sense, to deepen a culture of accountability, transparency and meaningful results.” 15 October 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today pledged that the United Nations will do all it can to deepen a culture of accountability and transparency, highlighting the progress made so far and stressing that the process of reform continues. read more

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