The departing head of the United Nations agency that battles internal corruption issued a scathing assessment of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's record on accountability, fueling criticism from Washington and defensive remarks from Ban's spokesman Tuesday.
In a confidential memo to Ban obtained by The Associated Press, outgoing Undersecretary-General Inga-Britt Ahlenius accused Ban of systematically undermining her authority and weakening the UN's oversight functions so much that it is becoming irrelevant.
"There is no transparency, there is lack of accountability," said Ahlenius in her end-of-assignment report to Ban upon the end of her five-year term as head of the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services. The office, set up in 1994, is supposed to operate independently and has three main divisions for investigations, audits and inspections.
"Rather than supporting the internal oversight which is the sign of strong leadership and good governance, you have strived to control it which is to undermine its position," the former Swedish auditor general wrote to Ban. "I regret to say that the Secretariat is now in a process of decay. It is not only falling apart ... it is drifting into irrelevance."