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Re: Oil for food: The unread reports

Also: Iraq has not yet been allotted its own money by the UN to hire legal
and technical support to look at these claims. 'The Council may wish yo
re-examine Iraq's outstanding request for funds to be made available to it
for the purpose of hiring experts to assist in preparing its responses to
claims.' There is much more  about the fact that Iraq has no legal,
technical or environmetal experts because its hasn't been allowed its money.
Scuse me? (UNCC Governing Council, Thirty Seventh Session, Geneva 26-28th
September 2000 S/AC.26/2000/R.38)

>From: Sandeep Vaidya <>
>To: "'Iraq-CASI - Discussion'" <>
>Subject: Oil for food: The unread reports
>Date: Wed, Oct 18, 2000, 12:36 pm

> Le Monde, Oct 2000
>  The unread reports
> A. G.
>  The UNCC has not "carried out further work to evaluate the financial
>  impact of the errors identified. In view of the possible impact on the
> level of awards, the Board considers that the Commission should set a
>  tighter, more demanding tolerance of errors that have a financial
>  impact on the level of award." Translated from UN-speak this reads:
>  claimants have received more than they deserve and the UNCC does
>  not care. Or at least that is the conclusion of an audit commissioned by
>  the UN, written by David Woodward (1) and published in 1998.
> The report emphasised that much of the data used by the UNCC was
>  supplied by national governments, which were responsible for
>  centralising claims. It was in their interest to inflate claims as they
>  were entitled to deduct up to 1.5% of the amounts awarded (3% for
> categories D, E and F). Predictably some of them did precisely that.
>  In addition, the authors pointed out that category A and C claims "did
>  not include a requirement to provide the names and identification
>  numbers of each family member covered by the claim. It was therefore
> not possible for the Commission to detect multiple family claims
>  submitted by individual members of the same family [...] The
>  Commission was unable to detect situations in which both parents had
>  submitted family claims for the same loss."
> The auditors "found that there was generally a poor quality of evidence
>  submitted by claimants A." For example, in a random sample of 60
>  claims examined by the board :
>  - Three (5%) of the claims have no supporting documentation; 26
>  (81%) of the 32 claims seeking compensations for loss of personal
>  property did not submit independent documentary evidence, such as
>  original receipts or invoices, in support of claims;
>  - 15 (59%) of the 24 claims seeking compensation for salary losses
>  were not supported by independent documentary evidence such as pay
>  slips or copies of employment contract.
>  - 21 (91%) of the 23 claims seeking compensation for forced hiding or
>  illegal detention were supported by uncorroborated personal
>  statements.
>  This did not prevent claimants from receiving compensation. Worse
>  still, the statistical data for category C claims revealed that 43% "of
>  claims entered by one national government contained at least one
>  discrepancy between the data on the claim and the data entered in the
>  database." Another sample had "unacceptably high levels of error in the
>  first instalment submitted, and resulted in approximately 40,000 out of
>  a batch of 165,000 claims been reprocessed." One point that the report
>  omitted was that Datamatics, the Indian company in charge of
>  inputting certain data, had undertaken to deliver 99.98% error-free
>  results. Despite its failure to comply with this requirement, its contract
>  was extended, with the additional proviso that payments should be
>  increased.
>  In any normal institution on the receiving end of this sort of criticism
>  - probably toned down before publication - heads would have rolled.
>  But do the people in charge at the UN still read the reports they
>  commission?
>  (1) Financial report and audited financial statements for the biennium
>  ended 31 December 1997 and Report of the Board of Auditors, General
>  Assembly, Official Records, Fifty-third Session, Supplement N 5
>  (A/53/5), United Nations, New York, 1998, pp. 44-51.
> --
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