In 2006 UNMIT was mandated to provide assistance to the Government in the conduct of a comprehensive security sector review on the roles and responsibilities of the PNTL and F-FDTL as a result of the crisis of 2006. UNMIT establish the Security Sector Support Unit (SSSU) in order to manage this review. To date that review has not happened.
The International Crisis Group (Brussels), the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) New York, the Security Sector Monitor (Canada), and the influential Centre for International Cooperation (CIC) in New York have all been very critical of the SSSU and UNMIT. One former UN staffs even criticised the review.
In 2009 the CIC stated that the "UN has lost the credibility necessary for the current Security Sector Review process to fulfill this role. Without committed support and cooperation from the government of Timor-Leste, the likelihood of undertaking a successful review – let alone one that will be politically implementable – is minimal."
|Front page audit report|
|signature page audit report former SRSG UNMIT Atul Khare|
The purpose of the audit was the assess the effectiveness of the SSSU in the conduct of its tasks in UNMIT. The SSSU has approximately 14 internationals staffs costing the taxpayer approximately $3.1 million/year. The SSSU also has $4 million in funding from the Norwegian, Australian and EU taxpayers. These project funds were given to UNDP. The Project document outlined here. The OIOS audit shows that the funds are largely wasted.
The audit had several findings. Firstly it found that the SSSU and UNMIT have failed to established and coordinate good relationships with Government and other international actors.
"The Mission is expected to coordinate its work with other partners in strengthening security institutions, but there was no consolidated or clear methodology and plan of action developed in collaboration with the Government and other national and internationals actors for the security sector reform. Attempts by the Mission to agree its priorities with the Government did not achieve the desire results."
Secondly, the audit found that the SSSU failed to properly align with Government and that its staff failed to co-locate with Government counterparts, and that the Government failed to ask for SSSU staff input into security reform processes.
"The Government's lack of cooperation with and interest in UNMIT's support, and the Mission's failure to conduct the required reassessment of its staffing needs for the security support program, resulted in the under utilization of advisers recruited by the Mission. Only two of the eight advisers on-board were co-located with their counterparts and many advisers complained that the Government did not request for their input into reforms initiatives".
Thirdly, the audit found that the Mission "Mandate Implementation Plan" (MIP) for the SSSU was never implemented as the Government never cooperated with it. The MIP can be found here.
"According to the Mission the Government did not respond to its request for the Government's views on the draft MIP and the proposed role of the SSSU".
The audit also found that the UNPOL Rebuild Restructure and Reform plan for the PNTL was never endorsed by the Government or the PNTL. As a result it is clear that the UNPOL have been following on plan since 2006, while the Government have been following their own plan.
|UNPOL RRR plan never adopted|
|Key tasks costing millions of dollars never done.|
This newspaper can report that a UN adviser in the Office of the Secretary of State for Defence SoSD, "signed a confidentiality document stating that he would not share any information he gained in the office of the SoSD with any party, including the UN". The audit states that this is a clear breach of UN staff rules Regulation 1.1(b) and that as a staff accountable to the UN and should therefore be "personally accountable for violating UN Staff regulation 1.1(b)." This newspaper can report that the staff member has been working for the UN in Timor-leste in the defence sector since at least 2005. The audit states that UNMIT has only cautioned the staff member in question, but seems to still have employment with the UN in the same role.
|UN Staff signs secrecy agreement with the Government of Timor-Leste|
On 2 December Mr. Gorgy Kakuk responded to this newspaper's request for comment on (and in some cases copies of) United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services, by stating that,
This newspaper will continue examing OIOS reports on UNMIT in the next weeks.