STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SONDRA CHEONG, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON AGENDA ITEM 141: PROPOSED PROGRAM BUDGET FOR 2021: ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING: UMOJA PROGRESS REPORT, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-FIFTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 3 December 2020)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on this Agenda Item. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Mr Chandru Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General, ERP-UMOJA, Mr. Peter Korn, Chair of the Audit Operations Committee of the Board of Auditors, and Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their respective reports.
2. In July 2006, the GA in its resolution 60/283 endorsed the Secretary-General's proposal to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - UMOJA project across the UN with the aim to support management reform and accountability, improve the direction of resources, and achieve more efficient and effective working practices through improved systems and processes.
3. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the methods of work of both UN Staff and Delegates, UMOJA has played an instrumental role in keeping the organization operational and accessible from remote and/or home locations. We trust that the Secretary-General and his designated officials are exercising vigilance and due care in protecting UMOJA's infrastructure and data from unauthorized access and/or attacks by ensuring a mechanism is in place for the broad implementation and accountability in the Secretariat's new cybersecurity action plan.
4. Despite the progress made, the Group remains deeply concerned that 82 percent, or 37 of 45 pending recommendations from the Board of Auditors, remains to be fully implemented amid the envisaged final year of its roll-out with the deployment of Umoja Extension 2 (UE2). We urge the Secretary-General to exert all efforts to fully implement the BOA's recommendations as expeditiously as possible.
5. Fourteen years since the project's inception and with $553.2 million expected to be spent by the Administration as of 31 December 2019, our Group remains dismayed that the full implementation of the project and its complete scope is not complete within the approved timeline and budget. We have already expended a significant amount of financial resources on Umoja. Accurate information on total cost of ownership of the system and the full extent of benefits realization, in particular the quantitative benefits, remains elusive.
6. The Group remains concerned by the significant challenges and risks faced by the project as it approaches its "steady-state." In particular, the Group will request more information during consultations on the funding model going forward, as well as what is considered maintenance and improvements.
7. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China stands ready to continue to engage constructively during the informal deliberations of this agenda item.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.