Starting later this year, UNICEF will publish all its audit reports on the Internet.
Susan Rice, the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, has praised the June 8 decision by the UNICEF executive board, adding her call for other U.N. agencies to follow suit.
U.N. agencies have long been criticized for not publicly disclosing audit reports. The policy of the World Food Program on when it should open internal audits to member states, for instance, was found to be “quite restrictive” by a U.N. oversight body. Audits were only disclosed to countries making the requests and affirming the reports’ confidentiality, and even then, they will not get copies of audits or take notes during consultations.
“UNICEF has set a new standard for transparency in the UN system,” Rice said June 8 in a statement. “This groundbreaking decision is a first, and we and others are determined that it will not be the last. Every agency in the UN system is a public institution and, by opening its doors to public scrutiny, will ensure enhanced public confidence.”
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