UNDP Making Transparency Progress, Lugar Says


UNDP Making Transparency Progress, Lugar Says

U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today lauded the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for taking the initial steps to ensure greater public scrutiny of its spending activities.

Lugar said the UNDP’s new open-data portal, http://data.undp.org, allows users to track aid and helps governments in developing countries manage aid more effectively. Data now available online reflect activities in 2010.

In April, Lugar released a Republican staff report entitled, “Fraud and Abuse of Global Fund Investments at Risk Without Greater Transparency,” and called for U.S. action to protect against fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars invested in global health programs. The report’s recommendations included the withholding of U.S. funds to UNDP until the organization’s internal procedures are modified to provide for greater transparency.

Lugar declared UNDP’s website initiative an “important step”. “As we continue to grapple with a $1.4 trillion budget deficit and a $ 15 trillion national debt, we must be diligent in reviewing all U.S. spending and questioning its necessity and effectiveness. Every program must be reviewed, including the program through which the United States is providing both bilateral and multilateral assistance to disadvantaged populations to both prevent new cases of and treat people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. I am hopeful that we will continue to see greater transparency and access to information at UNDP and the entire UN System.”

More than 40 current Senators were not members of the Senate when the “United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003” was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The report examines the history and operation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the problems and initial improvements made to them, and the most recent challenges the Fund faces.

###