Oil-for-food report blasts financial controls

The United Nations’ auditing and financial controls of the $64bn oil-for-food
programme for Iraq has come in for severe criticism following the publication of
a report into the scandal.

An investigation by the independent inquiry committee, led by IASC chairman
Paul Volcker found that ‘an adequate framework of controls and auditing was
absent’ from the programme. It recommended that the UN urgently needs to install
financial controls to avoid the ‘illicit, unethical and corrupt behaviour’
uncovered in the scheme.

The report, which runs to nearly 1,000 pages, found ‘instances of corruption
among senior staff as well as in the field’ and said the UN was not equipped to
handle this programme ‘or even programmes of a lesser scope’.

It argued that secretary-general Kofi Annan should take responsibility for
the serious management lapses that occurred.

‘The inescapable conclusion from the committee’s work is that the UN
organisation needs thorough-going reform, and it needs it urgently,’ said the

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