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Three Times As Long to Recruit Peacekeeping Staff

Audit Shows UN Takes Three Times As Long As Targeted To Recruit Peacekeeping Staff

The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) took an average of 347 days to recruit staff to professional-level and other senior posts in 2002 - almost three times longer than the UN target - according to a report issued today by the UN's internal auditing body.

The report by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), based on a probe conducted last year, found that the biggest challenge for http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/home.shtml DPKO and the UN's Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) was sifting through the high volume of applicants for each vacant position.

Managers in the two sections received 13,800 applications for 76 posts in 2002, or an average of 181 for each position. In many of the cases, there was no filtering mechanism in place, and managers had to review every application to determine if they met the criteria for the vacancy.

The report noted, however, that recent changes to the computerized system, which handles applications, include the introduction of advanced search features and filtering mechanisms.

Overall, the audit found that the processing time had actually improved - in 2001 the average length of recruitment time was 362 days for the professional category and above.

The longest step in the process continues to be the time between the sending of a shortlist to DPKO and the Department making its recommendation on a preferred candidate. In 2002 this took an average of 119 days.

The audit also found that the geographical distribution and gender balance of successful candidates had improved during the review period. In 2002, for example, 35 per cent of 105 vacancies in DPKO were filled by women, compared to 31 per cent the previous year.

http://www.un.org/Depts/oios/ OIOS issued five recommendations, mainly aimed at screening applications more quickly and efficiently and standardizing recruitment protocols and publicized job requirements so that the entire process takes less time.

In a cover letter accompanying the document, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he "generally concurs with the recommendations made in the report, which will contribute to the implementation of human resources management reform in the Secretariat."

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