Former UN Purchasing Head "Denies Wrongdoing'

Oh man ... you have to hand it to someone who can deny wrongdoing while overseeing rampant procurement fraud in their organization. Now, I know many procurement organizations are understaffed, but to blame a rise in procurement volume for an inability to address fraud -- not just off contract pricing, but fraud! -- takes more chutzpah than anyone in the private sector I know of. You can find the basic details on the UN procurement scandal here (scroll down for post). You can find the above quote from the full interview with the former UN procurement chief in a recent feature on Supply Management’s website. Here’s the context: "The former United Nations procurement chief, suspended as part of investigations into purchasing fraud, has spoken out over the ongoing case. Speaking to SM from New York, Briton Christian Saunders said whistle-blowers at the UN feared repercussions for their actions. He was also keen to defend his position and denied any wrongdoing, describing the procurement processes he helped to create as 'solid'." And here's my favorite quote from the interview: "Procurement volume more than tripled in the last five years without additional staffing. We were overstretched." Yikes! I guess it's always easier to ask the US or other Western countries for more funding than to address fundamental operating issues.

Jason Busch

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