Thursday, August 23, 2018

UN Pension Board Chair: Lacking an "appropriate tone of integrity and ethical values", 23 August 2018

Pension Board Chair: "Our Fund is under attack from without from, frankly, nutcases.....".

Or how not to "set the appropriate tone with regard to integrity and ethical values" as called for by the OIOS governance audit of the Pension Board under GA resolution 72/265.

This is the Pension Board that, under this Chair's leadership, decided to "refer OIOS to the UN’s Independent Audit Advisory Committee on apparent grounds of unprofessionalism", a decision about which the UN participant representatives noted in their 14 August 2018 message:

"We felt OIOS had carried out its work correctly as per the mandate assigned to it by the General Assembly. We did not believe that the Fund should engage in a political campaign against OIOS nor take measures to undermine its authority."

UNJSPF: Broadcast to WFP staff from the Chair of the UN Joint Staff Pension Board, John Martin Levins, WFP
Quote “Our Fund is also under attack from without from, frankly, nutcases, who intend for their own twisted purposes to create a narrative of a “Fund in crisis”. Unfortunately, it is also under attack from the inside by similar people in cahoots with the external nutters. The Fund is not perfect. It can improve many things just like WFP can; I will be making sure it does. If you hear a different narrative, please be skeptical. Ignore the haters. Check in with me.”

Monday, August 20, 2018

What the UN participant representatives did to defend your interests at the Pension Board, 20 August 2018

Message from UN participant representatives to the Pension Board (scroll down for the French version)

What the UN participant representatives did to defend your interests at the 65th session of the Pension Board

14 August 2018

Dear UN Family Colleagues,

The Pension Board met from 26 July to 3 August in Rome. This was the first meeting since action was taken by us last year to prevent the full extension of the CEO’s contract. At the same time, the Deputy CEO announced he would not seek a second term. 

Our campaign to reform the Fund is slowly bearing fruit and we acknowledge the efforts of the Secretary-General’s representatives to the Board for trying to build a consensus for change, as well as the appointment of a new head of investments. However, our work is still in progress. So while important decisions were taken by the Board, we do not believe all of them will benefit the current and future beneficiaries of the Fund. For this we made sure to put our disagreement with those decisions on record; our positions are explained below.

Friday, August 10, 2018

UN retiree association: Transparency hits the wall, 10 August 2018


I’ve posted below for information, a report dated 8 August 2018 from Lowell Flanders, newly elected member of the Governing board of AFICS/NY (Association of Former International Civil Servants) about pertinent issues of concern to all Fund stakeholders; an admonition from the AFICS/NY president, John Dietz, and Lowell Flanders’ reply to John Dietz in which he notes:

“…..this is part and part and parcel of an ongoing pattern of confidential and personal dealings that in no way represents the interests of Fund participants. This is also an obvious attempt to distract from the findings of the OIOS report and the entirely irresponsible circular by FAFICS leadership called “Pension Fund Alert: Retiree Rights in Danger,” distributed once again under the auspices of the Pension Fund Secretariat. This circular can only cause consternation among the thousands of retirees who are not Members or FAFICS, or have no idea what FAFICS is. This Circular should be discussed by our Board because it is false and entirely misleading…”

UN SG must reject the push to appoint a Deputy CEO of the Pension Fund in the face of audit report of deviations and arbitrariness in the process, 10 August 2018

Open letter to the United Nations Chef de Cabinet, Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti

10 August 2018

Subject: Shortcomings in the search process for a Deputy Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund

Dear Ms. Viotti,

1.         As you know, with the absence on sick leave for almost a year of the Chief Executive Officer of the UNJSPF Secretariat and the impending departure on retirement of the Deputy CEO on 31 August 2018, the management vacuum in the Fund is a matter of great concern to all Fund stakeholders.

2.         I am writing to request that you kindly advise Secretary-General Guterres to resist the push from the Pension Board for the appointment of a Deputy Chief Executive Officer under conditions described by the UN internal audit (entrusted to OIOS by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 8 of resolution 72/265) as containing “deviations and apparent arbitrariness”.

3.         Indeed, OIOS recommends (recommendation 12) a restart of the entire process:  “The Board should assess the composition and procedures of the search panel for the Deputy CEO in light of the deviations and apparent arbitrariness in the process and determine whether the search should be restarted to ensure the integrity and fairness required in a competitive exercise.”