Mr. Solheim, referred to in the audit as “a senior manager,” had spent 79 percent of his time away from the agency’s headquarters in Nairobi and incurred $488,519 in travel expenses over a 22-month period.
According to the audit, he selected flight itineraries that passed unnecessarily through Oslo and Paris and failed to account for what he did in those cities for a total of 72 days. The audit found that the travel arrangements were “uneconomical” and contravened United Nations travel rules.
“Most of the rerouted trips to the two cities were made prior to or during weekends or public holidays,” the audit found. Immediately after taking office, in July 2016, the audit found, Mr. Solheim flew to Paris for a one-day meeting but stayed for a month, accounting for nine days as his annual leave. Then, he went on a six-city tour of North and South America. His travel costs for the whole trip exceeded $14,000.
Sometimes, Solheim took flights on circuitous routes, or flew back to Europe between back-to-back meetings in the US - without any apparent reason.
Separately, he flew through Oslo on his way to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which is only a two-hour flight from Nairobi. On another occasion, he flew to Paris between meetings in Washington and New York. He refunded the world body $7,022 in travel expenses after an internal investigation of that trip.
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