Tuesday, April 5, 2016
As UN Spox Spins OIOS Audit, Won't Confirm OIOS Complaint Against Gallach
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- The UN's unwillingness to address the obvious corruption of South South News, to which it has given awards and Ban Ki-moon photo ops via its UN Correspondents Association, and whose Ng Lap Seng bought documents from Ban's Secretariat, has become even more clear -- though not in the UN's favored media.
At the April 4 UN noon briefing, Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric made a point of giving the first question on the audit to Reuters, which did not disclose its connections to the South South News fundee UN Correspondents Association - and then another question to the other part of the Reuters tag-team.
The questions Inner City Press asked -- will an investigative audit of South South News be launched, or of David Ng Lap Seng's funding of a Department of Public Information / NGO conference, were not answered by Dujarric, who insisted that the audits, on which he already provided comment to Reuters and AP, wouldn't be public until April 22.
Inner City Press asked Dujarric point blank to confirm and comment on a complaint to OIOS, already acknowledged by OIOS, against DPI chief Cristina Gallach.
Dujarric refused to even confirm receipt, which OIOS itself has done, see below.
The audit Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commissioned from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services mentions, as it must, South South News. But neither the audit nor the wire service stories to date follow through. South South News got its funder Ng Lap Seng a photo op with Ba Ki-moon himself; South South News got its content included in UNTV archives.
Inner City Press has been pursuing this aspect, including asking UN Department of Public Information chief, on UNTV, about her participation at Ng's South South Awards with Frank Lorenzo, who has since pleaded guilty.
On February 19, Gallach ordered Inner City Press thrown out of the UN, essentially for pursuing this story, how South South News gave money to the UN Correspondents Association which gave SSN funder Ng the photo op with Ban Ki-moon.
Now we can report: the same UN Office of Internal Oversight Services has, prior to Gallach's ordering an April 6 total eviction of Inner City Press, acknowledged receipt of a complaint against Gallach:
"Subject: Fw: (OIOS Log: ousg-16-00114
From: ASG David Kanja
To: "Matthew R. Lee" at InnerCityPress.com
Cc: Heidi Mendoza, Ben Swanson, Michelle Claudio, Byung-Kun Min
Dear Mr. Lee:
I am acknowledging receipt of your email on behalf of Ms. Mendoza who is currently on mission. I will shortly forward it to Mr. Ben Swanson, who is the Officer in Charge of our Investigation Division, for assessment and appropriate action.
Office of Internal Oversight Services "
Ban's spokesman Dujarric routinely says he does not comment on not yet released or finished OIOS investigations. But he did so, to Reuters and AP, over the weekend. And on this? Will he just walk out, urging on eviction? Watch this site.
For months Inner City Press has asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the Secretariat stafferwho put out a "reissued for technical reasons" General Assembly document listing Ng Lap Seng's company and South South News.
Now that the corruption is flagged in the largely whitewash Office of Internal Oversight Services audit, there is still no indication that the Secretariat staffer has been identified, including for and to the prosecutors.
And the insider media that Dujarric speaks / leaks to --while walking out on Inner City Press' questions -- doesn't ask. In fact, while Reuters has a permanent seat on the board of the UN Correspondents Association, which took South South News' money and gave Ng a photo op with Ban Ki-moon (UNCA's vice president also went to Ng's Macau conference listed in the audit), none of this is disclosed by Reuters. This is a continuing cover up, on which we'll have more.
Inner City Press repeatedly asked Dujarric and UNDP, which has yet to answer, about the i-Pads and involvement in the conference. But there are many more questions not addressed in this whitewash.
And Dujarric and Ban's head "Communications" official Cristina Gallach, who attended Ng's South South Awardsand was questioned by Inner City Press about it, then ordered Inner City Press ousted without due process - nowplan a total eviction of Inner City Press on April 6. This is a cover up, and corrupt.
Last week Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric read out a statement that Ban's “Task Force” report on corruption had been circulated, limited to structural flaws in the Office of the President of the General Assembly.
Inner City Press, facing eviction from the UN for seeking to cover an event by one of Ng's and South South News' fundees, UNCA, in the UN Press Briefing Room, asked why Ban wasn't studying corruption in his own Secretariat.Video here.
On April 1, Inner Cit Press Dujarric this, transcript here:
Inner City Press: I understand that we're waiting to get these audits that you said have been finished released, but in the same way that, that there seems to have been no answer on whether the Secretariat, outside of the audit process, identified who it was in the Secretariat that modified the document of… for the Macau Centre. I wanted to ask you about paragraph 48(H) of the criminal complaint where it talks about, you know, the… the “Kenyan UN Official One” and it describes in great detail… basically, it seems pretty clear the person took money in order to do various things. And it's described as a Kenyan. So, my question is, doesn't seem… there's nothing in the paragraphs before or after that that refer to either Sun Kian Ip Foundation or Global Sustainability Foundation. So, it's something that wouldn't appear to be dealt with by the audits. What is the UN's response to this…
Spokesman: The audits are a first step, and we'll see what comes out of it.
Inner City Press: But if the audits…
Spokesman: I think we have to wait for the audits to be finalized.
Inner City Press: Okay. And when will that… will they come out?
Spokesman: I should have an answer for you later this afternoon.
And yet nothing was provided.
On March 31, Inner City Press asked Dujarric this, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: on corruption, there's a lot of focus has been on Ng Lap Seng, but on the side of it that Sheri Yan and the Global Sustainability Foundation, there's reporting… and I'm going to read to you from a published report. It says, the United Nations has ordered an investigation of Chong… of Chau Chak Wing, the boss of Guangzhou Kinggold Group, which is basically the money behind Sheri Yan that was flowed into the Global Sustainability Foundation, which paid for the slavery memorial at the founding of which Ban Ki-moon's spouse and Mr. Nambiar were present. Is this, in fact, true? Is the UN actually doing more investigation than I'm aware of, or is this report false and you're not investigating…?
Spokesman Dujarric: I haven't seen the report. If you send it to me, as I said, I will look at anything that is shown to me.
Dujarric, whose answers show him closely reading his tweets these days, was sent the quote. Nothing. Nothing at all.
Part of the answer, not given by Dujarric on March 29 or admitted by him on March 30 when Inner City Press asked, was that Ban's personal lawyer Miguel de Serpa Soares was on the "Task Force," one of only three members. On March 30, Inner City Press asked Dujarric about this, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: I hadn't seen when you were reading out the task force report on UN PGA office. And upon seeing it, I noticed one of the three members is also Miguel de Serpa Soares, who is… is my understanding, as well as Under-Secretary-General of Legal Affairs, also the counsel to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. So, I wanted to know, given, even though the way it's been structured is this was only a look at the PGA's office, given… when you read the criminal complaint, there are number of references to the Secretariat. How would you respond to those who say, as Ban Ki-moon's lawyer, Mr. Serpa Soares has a legal, ethical duty not to find anything wrong by Ban Ki-moon? He's literally required. It would be unethical for him to say, I have found wrongdoing with the Secretariat.