This article examines whether reform ideas that gained influence in national-level bureaucracies in the 1970s were also on the United Nations’ internal agenda. The Joint Inspection Unit (Bertrand) Report of 1971 is the focus of this analysis, as it addressed personnel problems in the UN Secretariat and identified structural shortcomings. Our analysis shows that New Public Management ideas were in circulation in the UN at this time. It also demonstrates the different pressures that international bureaucracies face in regard to their personnel. This is likely to make their responses to reform pressures, such as those experienced in the 1970s, unique.