The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has never intended to open source ASYCUDA (as the WCO recently did in June 2017 with their Cargo Targeting System). It seems clear that Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) should not be in the business of building and selling rudimentary software solutions, and donors should not be funding the development or deployment especially when there is an appearance of a kickback scheme for a select few...
We’ve prepared a series of upcoming posts over the next 1-2 weeks regarding ASYCUDA that might draw some interest and discussion. A few months ago, I had posted a blog on ASYCUDA called: “The ASYCUDA Myth Part 1: Is UNCTAD fostering a No-Bid Sole Source Contract for ASYCUDA World?” This post can be accessed here and discussed the various tactics employed by UNCTAD to secure a sole source deployment of ASYCUDA under the guise of a misleading feasibility study.
The next in the series (posted here today) is called, “The ASYCUDA Myth Part 2: United Nations Audit Reveals Collusion, and Conflicts of Interest”, and is based on the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight services (OIOS) audits in 2008 and 2012. Surprisingly, many in our community are still unaware of these reports and the internal conflicts they exposed. Personally, I only discovered them in the last year. If you are in anyway involved in trade facilitation, customs modernization, and/or capacity building in the developing world, it is very important to understand the specifics of ASYCUDA development to date and where this system is likely headed.
This blog will be followed by 2 more blogs in the next 2 weeks called,
“The ASYCUDA Myth Part 3: Where is ASYCUDA Millennium?”
“The ASYCUDA Myth Part 4: Time to Open Source.”
I hope these blogs are enjoyed and prompt much discussion to make the positive change that is desperately needed.