The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Mandate and reforms

UNOPS origins trace back to 1973, and until 1994 the Office for Project Services was part of the UN Development Programme. By decision of the UN General Assembly, UNOPS became a separate, self-financing entity within the UN development system on 1 January 1995.

Mandate

Since 1995, through resolutions and decisions, Member States have evolved UNOPS mandate, particularly with respect to the nature of our project services and the types of partners we engage with.

By 2017, the legislative basis for UNOPS contributions had been firmly established through a number of resolutions and decisions, including General Assembly resolution 65/176, and Executive Board decisions 2009/25, 2010/21, 2013/23, 2015/12, 2016/12, 2016/19 and 2017/16.

Currently, UNOPS is mandated to expand implementation capacity across peace and security, humanitarian, and development efforts. Through its project services — including infrastructure, procurement, project management, human resources, and financial management services — UNOPS supports governments, the United Nations, and other partners in achieving Member States’ Global Goals, and local objectives for people and countries.

The uniqueness of UNOPS is also to be found in our special ability to act with speed and efficiency.

Grete Faremo - Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director

Reforms

Since 2006, UNOPS has undergone a major restructure with the strengthening of financial and management controls, and a sharp improvement in efficiency, transparency and effectiveness. These have been recognized by the General Assembly, confirming UNOPS role as a central resource in the UN system.

Management reforms

To improve accountability and transparency, UNOPS has systematically improved its financial control and management structure through various reforms. This includes, among others, the creation of an internal audit and dedicated investigative function, robust financial controls including mandatory use of electronic financial management tools, as well as the introduction of an ethics officer and whistleblower protection, and a comprehensive information disclosure policy.

These efforts have earned UNOPS objective recognition in the form of consistently clean audit results, strong partner satisfaction ratings, and new framework business agreements with, among others, the UN Secretariat, the European Commission, and the World Bank.

Organizational structure

Key revisions to our global structure have strengthened delivery in our core-mandated areas. This flexible structure allows us to respond rapidly to partner's needs.

New policies on recruitment have further raised personnel competence and a newly established UNOPS Gender Advisory Panel is working to achieve gender parity by 2020. 

Financial management

UNOPS focuses on the prudent use of resources. We are financially stable, with solid reserves in accordance with, or in excess of, levels set by the Executive Board. This firm platform gives partners confidence, demonstrates the viability of our business model and means that funds are available to invest in improving the services we offer partners.