Tuesday, June 22, 2004

If you've been reading the Globblog faithfully these last few weeks, this story shouldn't come as any surprise.
United Nations-mandated auditors have sharply criticised the US occupation authority for the way it has spent more than $11bn in Iraqi oil revenues and say they have faced "resistance" from coalition officials.

In an interim report, obtained by the Financial Times, KPMG says the Development Fund for Iraq, which is managed by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority and channels oil revenue into reconstruction projects, is "open to fraudulent acts". . . .

One adviser to a member of the recently disbanded Iraqi Governing Council said the report raised the fear that no audit of the CPA's work would ever be completed. "If the auditors don't finish by June 30, they never will, because the CPA staff are going home," he said. "I lament the lack of transparency and lack of involvement by Iraqis."
Even though the Development Fund for Iraq was established by Resolution 1483 (2003) "to meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, for the economic reconstruction and repair of Iraq's infrastructure, for the continued disarmament of Iraq, and for the costs of Iraqi civilian administration, and for other purposes benefitting the people of Iraq", it has been under the control of the US occupation authority since it was created. So it's no surprise that the colonial power doesn't really have the colony's best interests at heart.

The outside "watchdogs" from the IMF, World Bank, etc. couldn't get going until April 2004 even though 1483 passed in May 2003. Stonewalling by the CPA means that the 13 months of US control over this multibillion dollar pot of gold -- aka "corporate slush fund for Iraq" -- may never be audited.

How conveeeeeeeeenient.

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