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IRAQ - Oct. 23 - CPA Accused Of $4bn Accounting Failure In Iraq.

US-led CPA in Baghdad came under renewed fire for a lack of transparency as Christian Aid, a leading British relief organisation, said it had not properly accounted for $4bn in Iraqi assets. The criticism fuelled calls for a separate fund administered by the World Bank and the UN to oversee new donations to Iraq. The EU's external affairs commissioner, Chris Patten, said the report made clear the importance of setting up such a fund which would be managed in parallel with the US Development Fund for Iraq. A number of non-governmental organisations and US politicians have criticised the CPA for not disclosing more information about how it has spent Iraqi money since it took over administration of the country. "There is a UN mandate obliging the CPA to account for money coming in and money going out and they just haven't done it," Dominic Nutt, one of the Christian Aid report's authors, told Reuters news agency. CPA officials respond that they are abiding by their UN commitment to provide transparency by forming the long-delayed International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) which will be able to to audit spending by the CPA of Iraqi funds. According to a senior CPA official, Iraqi oil exports to the end of September totalled $1. 9bn, while $1bn in Iraqi funds from the UN Oil for Food programme has also been transferred to CPA control. The US has handed over $1. 7bn in frozen Iraqi assets to the CPA, most of which has gone to pay civil servants salaries. Some $2. 8bn of this money has so far been placed in the Development Fund for Iraq, which is administered by the CPA, but information about its expenditures is scarce. Christian Aid said the CPA has so far provided details for only $1bn in of expenditure.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 25, 2003
Words:300
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