AT News Editor, Ed Lasky, reveals how a high ranking UN official is putting the squeeze on internal investigators as they look into still more corruption at the troubled organization. Specifically, the report cites the inability of the UN to to monitor and provide fiscal discipline to its procurement department.
Here is the delicious irony: the procurement department handles contracts to support UN missions. One of the favorite rants from those on the left is the "Cheney/Halliburton sole source contract" phony corruption charges that always seem to get traction in the antique media. It apparently never crossed their minds that the UN obtains material and services the same way the US military does — they let contracts to those evil, private corporations to do the work.
The Washington Times has more details on this sad situation. The GAO report submitted to Congress today notes that the procurement office in the Peacekeeping Department is chronically understaffed and lacks the ability to police itself. The report says that eight senior staff members were suspended with pay after an earlier investigation by the U.N. inspector general's office. The malfeasance has gotten so bad that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is also looking into the matter.
The GAO found:
... deep flaws in the management, coordination, and oversight in the procurement office that spent about $1.6 billion last year on everything from trash disposal in the Balkans to fresh food rations in Sudan to helicopters and cargo planes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
These functions are identical to what Halliburton/KBR and other companies do under US government supervision to support our troops all over the globe. Apparently, the one having the real contract corruption problems is the anti—war left's favorite organization. When will they start blasting away at the UN and their sleazy contractor buddies?
Doug Hanson 04—27—06