PracticePeople In PracticeOECD assisting US senate probe

OECD assisting US senate probe

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has said it is 'taking action' to help with a US Senate investigation into its finances.

The confirmation comes after a senior senator wrote to the US government’s Department of State asking it to examine financial management at the organisation.

A spokesman said: ‘The OECD is taking action to ensure that a response is made available to this senator through the Department of State.’

Senator Judd Gregg, chairman of the senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing US contributions to the OECD, wrote: ‘I am deeply concerned that over the past few years the OECD has not produced a single complete financial statement.’

The development comes just days after PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that a recently completed external audit of the OECD concluded the organisation’s accounts are ‘true and fair’.

Senator Gregg wants the OECD to produce a financial statement, auditors’ reports and cash flow statements going back to 1997. He also wants the OECD’s internal controls to be examined to ‘identify high risk areas for fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement’. His demands follow allegations of financial mismanagement at the organisation which have been strenuously denied.

His letter revealed a connection between his office and Marta Andreason, a former head of the accounting division at the OECD, who was suspended from work following allegations of racism and that she raised ‘undue doubts’ and unsupported ‘alarmist allegations’ in relation to the organisation’s accounts.

Andreason denies the allegations against her. But as a result of her own allegations Arthur Andersen were called in to investigate OECD accounts.

The firm’s report concluded that there was no ‘missing’ money from OECD accounts, though Andreason contends an earlier draft had made other conclusions.

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