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The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly emphasized in its resolutions the need for JIU to “focus more on management, budgetary and administrative issues”. Administrative policies and practices have therefore retained the Unit’s attention over the years with the objective of contributing to further efficiency and effectiveness.
Common services among UN entities
In recent years, more and more United Nations system organizations have redesigned administrative support services through shared services and service centres. JIU has looked at the governance and implementation of common services arrangements at various headquarters and field locations and produced a series of recommendations to improve their efficiency and reduce costs.
As travel expenses are representing one of the largest budget components of the United Nations system organizations, JIU Inspectors paid particular attention to this issue and produced a series of reports on travel policies in 1995, 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2017 as well as a note issued in 2005. These reports have emphasized the need for harmonization of policies, efficient and effective travel management and respective travel cost reductions.
With procurement having evolved to a financially high-profile and high-risk function, important contributions have been made by the Unit in identifying opportunities for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement activities within the United Nations system. JIU also reviewed the relevance and potential risks associated with the use of long-term agreements (LTAs) in the procurement of United Nations organizations.