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> UN watchdog: $22 million missing in Iraq contracts

Master Of His Domain
Group: Admin
Posts: 12736
Member No.: 8

Posted: Nov 9 2006, 02:27 PM
Quote Post
The pirates reaped a great bounty with the invasion of Iraq. The looting of museums with priceless ancient artifacts and antiquities, millions of barrels of oil and billions upon billions of dollars in 'missing' cash.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

UN watchdog: $22 million missing in Iraq contracts
An audit of 15 noncompetitive contracts paid for by U.S. government agencies with Iraqi oil money was unable to account for $22.4 million in funds, a U.N.-led watchdog said on Monday.

The audit by KPMG, ordered by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, or IAMB, said in some cases Iraq did not receive goods, there were "unreconciled payments" and there was no evidence that steps were taken to fix previously reported problems.

The contracts varied, from oil pipeline security, police and military training, printing of the new Iraqi currency to the purchase of vehicles and food.

"In view of these findings, the IAMB recommends that the Iraqi government seek resolution with the U.S. government concerning the use of resources of the (Development Fund for Iraq), which might be in contradiction with the UN Security Council Resolution 1483," the board said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The IAMB, which also includes officials from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, was created by the U.N. Security Council in 2003 to oversee the use of Iraqi oil money while the country was under an interim U.S. administration.

The watchdog's mandate expires at the end of December and its last meeting is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 11-12.

Meanwhile, the IAMB also said an audit by Crowe Chizek accounting firm that looked at Iraq contracts between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root were found "to be reasonable."

"The audit reviewed the findings of earlier audit reports by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and found that the conclusions reached by the DCAA were supported by the underlying accounting and auditing records," the IAMB said.

But the audit noted that transportation costs incurred by the Halliburton unit for fuel supplies to Iraq between May 2003 and March 2004 were very high, in some cases as much as 86 percent of the total contract costs.

"The IAMB continues to question the reasonableness of these costs and the adequacy of the administration contracts," it said.

The Texas-based Halliburton, formerly run by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, has drawn scrutiny for its work in Iraq, where it was the biggest U.S. military contractor.

Also, we have this...
Iraq corruption 'costs billions'
Thursday, 9 November 2006, 09:56 GMT
Corruption within the Iraqi government is costing the country billions of dollars, the US official monitoring reconstruction in Iraq has said.

Stuart Bowen told the BBC that Iraq was facing a second insurgency of corruption and mismanagement.

He said Iraqi government corruption could amount to $4bn (£2.1bn) a year, over 10% of the national income, with some money going to the insurgency.

Many government workers also lack the skills to manage funds, Mr Bowen said.

"This money that's stolen doesn't merely enrich criminals," Mr Bowen said.

"(It) frequently goes out to fund criminal militias or insurgents. That means lost lives for US troops."

Missing weapons

A clause in a military spending bill signed by President George W Bush three weeks ago will terminate the work of the auditor on 1 October next year.

Democratic and Republican Senators have said they will fight to have the term of the Office of the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction extended.

Mr Bowen has been critical in the past of how US money earmarked for reconstruction has been spent.

Lack of skills among government workers is another problem hampering reconstruction, Mr Bowen said.

"The estimates are that $8-10bn of Iraq's budgets will go unspent because of Iraq's lack of capacity to spend that money," he said.

Mr Bowen's audit office began operations in March 2004 and has referred 25 criminal cases to the US Department of Justice. Four have resulted in convictions.

Among its more notable findings was a report on the loss of 14,000 weapons destined for Iraqi government use.

Many of these are believed to have found their way into the hands of insurgent groups after the Pentagon lost track of them.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

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