Viewing cable 09GENEVA1097
Title: WMO AUDIT COMMITTEE: TWO STEPS FORWARD

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09GENEVA10972009-12-02 12:44:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Mission Geneva
VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGV #1097 3361244
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021244Z DEC 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0458
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
UNCLAS GENEVA 001097 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
USDOC FOR NOAA FOR VNADOLSKI, CCORVINGTON 
STATE FOR IO/GS FOR RDISSELKOEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: WMO AORC EFIN KUNR SENV
SUBJECT: WMO AUDIT COMMITTEE: TWO STEPS FORWARD 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. (SBU) The World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Audit 
Committee (AC) welcomed further progress on management reforms, but 
challenged the Secretariat to close the books on many partially 
completed recommendations from both the internal and external 
auditors.  AC stressed to the Secretariat that it expected results 
and a more proactive approach to addressing the implementation of 
recommendations.   AC members held an in-camera session of 
principles only to determine the best way forward. This Audit 
Committee meeting showed members at their best, engaging in 
critical, yet constructive, dialogue with the WMO Secretariat.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
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MEMBERS WANT CLOSURE AND CONTROL 
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¶2. (U) WMO's Audit Committee (AC) held its 13th meeting in Geneva 
October 26-27, 2009, to continue to promote management reform and 
improvements in internal controls.  AC noted progress in many areas 
and welcomed the Secretariat's sustained efforts to address the 
shortcomings cited in the numerous audits, internal and external, 
conducted in recent years.  At the same time, AC was not fully 
satisfied with the pace of efforts in some areas and delays in 
implementation. AC members requested an in-camera session (a meeting 
of principle members only) to discuss how members, rather than the 
SG, could drive the agenda. The members agreed that transparency was 
lacking in some of the details presented by the Secretariat relative 
to implementation of the internal auditor's recommendations. 
 
¶3. (U) The issue of greatest concern to the AC was a suggestion by 
the SG that many of the auditors' recommendations were not practical 
or realistic and, consequently, would not be implemented. This 
statement was not well received by the AC members, but the SG 
deflected criticism somewhat by saying that as a "living list," 
recommendations would be closed and new ones added such that at no 
given time was 100 percent implementation achievable.  The AC 
members proceeded to review each of the 31 outstanding 
recommendations and requested that, in future lists, new columns be 
added to the side of each recommendation that would show the date of 
the recommendation, the current status of implementation, the 
responsible party and the expected date of closure.  The good news 
was that in the process of this group exercise, a number of 
recommendations were declared closed by the internal auditor and the 
AC members gained insight into the complex issue of "ownership" of 
implementation through the WMO. 
 
¶4. (SBU) During the in-camera meeting, the AC members discussed the 
value of beginning future AC meetings with an in-camera session in 
order to candidly discuss issues without observers present.  AC 
members unanimously agreed to future in-camera sessions and to 
provide more input into the agenda of future audit committee 
meetings. 
 
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COMMENT: 
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¶5. (SBU) No one can question that WMO has made significant reforms 
since its experience with fraud and corruption in 2003, but the 
review of recommendations showed that their work continues.  A 2006 
AC reporting cable stating that although WMO leadership is ""talking 
the talk" and "walking the walk" when it comes to reform, "yet it is 
not clear how far their legs will carry them" is just as true today 
as it was then. The WMO SG has inferred that he is tired of walking, 
particularly as he feels that they have more or less reached their 
destination. Fortunately, the members of the 13th AC meeting 
reinvigorated the reform process and are actively steering the WMO 
towards an organizational culture that implements reform 
recommendations as readily as it predicts the weather. 
 
GRIFFITHS#