The Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations in New York would like to make a few clarifications regarding the stories in the media on the appointment of Mr. Ludovick Utouh (pictured), Tanzania’s Controller and Auditor General to the United Nations Board of Auditors.
First, the body which Mr. Utouh will join at the United Nations is called The United Nations Board of Auditors (UNBOA), not Accounts Board as has been reported in some news outlets.
Second, what the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly did on Friday was to unanimously agree to recommend to the General Assembly that Tanzania should join the UNBOA to fill the position that will fall vacant when South Africa completes its term on 30th June 2012. The Fifth Committee only recommends; the United Nations General Assembly is the one with the mandate to make the final appointment. This will be done before the end of 2011.
Third, this will not be a full time job for Mr. Utouh. He will continue to serve in his current position in the government. But he will assign two officers from his office to work full time at the UNBOA office in New York. He will be coming to New York only a few times a year.
Fourth, technically, the position is filled by the supreme national audit office of the elected country; in this case it is the National Audit Office of the United Republic of Tanzania (NAOT). So, the position at the UNBOA is filled by whoever is heading the NAOT.
Finally, some background material and why Tanzania was elected. The United Nations Board of Auditors (UNBOA) was established in 1946 upon the approval of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The Board consists of three heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions from the Member States of the United Nations (UN). They are mandated to provide independent, professional and quality audit services to the healthy and sound development of the entire UN system.
Today, the UN is experiencing a series of reform initiatives in management which have profound and far-reaching influences: improving accountability and oversight; establishing efficient and transparent governance mechanism; prioritizing budgeting and results-based budget; reforming human resources system; implementing the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS); restructuring the global procurement framework; and so on.
Tanzania’s election to UNBOA is a correct reflection of Mr. Utouh’s personal qualities of competence, experience and integrity as well as Tanzania’s reputation in the area of national auditing.
While the UN is trying now to adopt IPSAS and other related reforms, Tanzania, through the NAOT, and under the able leadership of Mr. Utouh, adopted IPSAS four years ago and embarked on all the reforms that the UN is now embarking on. As such, Tanzania’s experience will be helpful to the United Nations and this partly explains why we won this election.