UN issues charge letter against official faulted in Iraq OilforFood probe

The United Nations has issued a charge letter against the head of its internal watchdog office, based on an adverse finding against him in the report of an independent committee probing alleged misconduct and mismanagement in the UN Oil-for-Food Programme for Iraq, a spokesman said today.The letter, sent to Under-Secretary-General Dileep Nair, head of the Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), gives him seven days to reply to the charges raised by the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) led by former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.The Committee faulted Mr. Nair for paying a special assistant with funds from the Oil-for-Food programme although the person performed virtually no work related to the now defunct multibillion-dollar operation, which allowed Saddam Hussein’s sanctions-bound regime to use oil-sale proceeds to purchase humanitarian supplies.The UN is also initiating an independent third-party review of allegations made against Mr. Nair by the UN Staff Council in New York to determine whether a full external investigation is warranted.Also today, the UN announced a shortlist of candidates to replace Mr. Nair as head of OIOS at the conclusion of his non-renewable 5-year term on 23 April.They are: Claus Andreasen of Denmark, Director of Audit for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Inga-Britt Ahlenius of Sweden, Auditor-General of UN-administered Kosovo; Franz-Hermann Bruener of Germany, Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office; and Rafael Munoz of Spain, former Director of the Office of Internal Audit and Inspection at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).A fifth candidate from New Zealand will be added to the list once he has been notified.Criteria include exceptional integrity, expertise in accounting and auditing and unstinting championship of the fight against corruption and the cause of transparency and good governance.

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