BEIJING, Feb. 4 -- The chief
investigator of the scandal-plagued UN oil-for-food program for Iraq has said
that the program's procurement process was "tainted" and its former director
Benon Sevan violated rules in selecting purchasers of Iraqi
|Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul
Volcker made the announcement in a commentary in Thursday's Wall Street
Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul
Volcker is due to release the first interim report on the probe into alleged
fraud and corruption in the 67 billion-dollar oil-for-food program later in the
Volcker said his investigative team had found that the procurement process
was tainted, "failing to follow the established rules of the organization
designed to assure fairness and accountability."
He added that the process was also affected by "political considerations"
in a manner that was "neither transparent nor accountable".
Volcker also criticized the program's audit process, saying it lacked "the
independence, the clear reporting lines and the management responsiveness
critical to achieving a fully effective auditing process."
But Volcker did not mention whether Sevan or any other UN officials had
The oil-for-food program, which started in December 1996, allowed Iraq to
export oil worth some 67 billion US dollars. The United Nations oversaw Iraq's
oil sales and its purchase of humanitarian supplies. The program was shut down
in November 2003.