The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, April 29, 2004
The dog ate it?
The U.N. can't find (wink, wink) most of its Iraqi-oil-for-food contracts:
The vast majority of the United Nations' oil-for-food contracts in Iraq have mysteriously vanished, crippling investigators trying to uncover fraud in the program, a government report charged yesterday.
The General Accounting Office report, presented at a congressional hearing into the scandal-plagued program, determined that 80 percent of U.N. records had not been turned over.
The world body claims it transferred all information it had - including 3,059 contracts worth about $6.2 billion for delivery of food and other civilian goods to the post-Saddam governing body, the Coalition Provisional Authority.
But the GAO report also found that a database the U.N. transferred to the authority was "unreliable because it contained mathematical and currency errors in calculation of contract costs," the report found.
The GAO findings, which were aired at a hearing of the House International Relations Committee, raise new questions about corruption and mismanagement in the biggest-ever U.N. aid program - and what has been called the biggest financial scandal in history. An earlier GAO report said Saddam ripped off over $10 billion.
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This is all oddly reminiscent of the U.N.'s problems with Iraqi WMD disclosure. Maybe Bush should invade the U.N., too, before all those contracts end up on 18 wheelers headed for Syria.
Posted by: alan | 2004-04-29 6:50:56 PM
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