Statement by Bruce Rashkow, United States Minister Counsellor, on Agenda Item 132: Information Communication Technology/Enterprise Resource Planning, in the Fifth Committee of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Bruce Rashkow
U.S. Representative to the Fifth Committee 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 24, 2009




AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We would like to thank Under-Secretary General for Management, Ms. Angela Kane, for introducing the Secretary-General’s First Progress Report on the Enterprise Resource Planning Project; the Second Progress Report on the Adoption of IPSAS by the United Nations; and the report on Business Continuity Management.  We would also like to thank Assistant Secretary-General, Chief Information Technology Officer, Mr. Choi Soon-hong, for introducing the Secretary-General’s report on ECM/CRM and the proposal for a unified Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan.  We would further like to thank the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Susan McLurg, for introducing the related reports of the Committee.

The United Nations with its extraordinary global outreach must ensure that the most accurate information and reliable support are available to all concerned offices at all times.  In this respect, the United States recognizes the fundamental importance of having an effective and dependable information management system to insure the Organization’s ability to perform the full range of functions vital to successfully sustain UN activities around the world.

Mr. Chairman, despite investments over the years in new technology platforms and software upgrades, the current system is fragmented, reactive and seldom delivers what is promised.  The Secretary General, in accordance with Resolution A/63/262, and Resolution A/60/283, has proposed an Enterprise Resource Planning project (ERP) which would replace the IMIS and numerous other obsolete and redundant information management systems with a single modern system that will consolidate all related information in a globally accessible system and enhance the organization’s ability to effectively and efficiently conduct its operations worldwide.  The ERP will harmonize business practices and facilitate the organization’s compliance with mandated implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

Mr. Chairman, the Secretary-General has proposed to implement ERP using the “Pilot First Option” that would deploy the system to pilot sites like a regional commission, peacekeeping operation and department in the first phase then to the rest of the organization world-wide in two subsequent phases.  The Secretary-General believes that Pilot First would be the most cost effective and risk adverse approach.  The Secretary-General further maintains that under this approach the organization would realize most quickly the projected efficiency gains, including increased operational effectiveness, improved accountability, enhanced transparency, and higher client satisfaction. 

The ERP is a complex and costly undertaking.  The total cost, assuming the Pilot First approach, over its four year implementation is $315 million, with $24 million allocated in the 2010-2011 biennium and some $18 million for the next.  The remaining cost would be funded through the Peacekeeping Program Support Account and extra-budgetary resources.  Timing clearly is a critical factor. Implementation will require a strong commitment and continued energetic leadership in order to see the project to its fruition, on time and within is budget.

Mr. Chairman, the ACABQ recommends that the organization approve of the Secretary-General’s initiative on ERP and pursue the Pilot First approach, making every effort to do so as cost effectively as possible.  My delegation concurs with these recommendations and looks forward to working with other delegations on how best to move these initiatives forward without delay.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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PRN: 2009/297