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How and when was the IIC
Following serious public allegations into the administration and management of the United Nations Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme (OFFP), on April 21, 2004 the UN Secretary General appointed an independent panel to conduct an inquiry into the OFFP.
The panel is chaired by Paul A. Volcker, former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System. Its other two members are Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, who previously served as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and Mark Pieth of Switzerland, Chair of the Working Group on Bribery in International Transactions at the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution (Resolution 1538/2004), welcoming the appointment of the Committee and calling upon the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), Iraq and all other Member States – including their national regulatory authorities – to cooperate fully with the inquiry.
The IIC shall collect and examine information relating to the administration and management of the Oil-for-Food Programme, including allegations of fraud and corruption on the part of United Nations officials, personnel and agents, as well as contractors, including entities that have entered into contracts with the United Nations or with Iraq under the Programme:
(b) to determine whether any United
Nations officials, personnel, agents or contractors engaged in any illicit or
corrupt activities in the carrying out of their respective roles in relation
to the Programme, including, for example, bribery in relation to oil sales,
abuses in regard to surcharges on oil sales and illicit payments in regard to
purchases of humanitarian goods;
(c) to determine whether the accounts of the Programme were in order and were maintained in accordance with the relevant Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations.
There is no deadline set for the completion of the investigation, which given the seriousness of the criticism and allegations, must be both thorough and objective. That said, the Committee is determined to see that the inquiry is carried out as expeditiously as possible.
It is expected that the report will be made public by the UN.
A Status Report was presented to the Secretary General on August 6, 2004.
No, the IIC is not a UN office.
Although the Committee members were appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, the IIC is an independent body. The Committee’s employees are not UN
staff. The recruitment of investigators and other staff has been undertaken
outside the UN personnel structure. No UN personnel work at the IIC with the
exception of 3 support staff on loan from the UN, who deal exclusively with
5. How is the IIC organized?
To date, the IIC has a staff of 60
The IIC initially received USD 4
millions to begin putting its office and staff in place. The budget estimate
for the core investigation is USD 30 millions.
The Secretary-General instructed
all UN officials and personnel to cooperate with the inquiry in a 1 June 2004
Secretariat Bulletin. In the Bulletin, the Secretary-General specifies that
“any violation of the foregoing instructions could result in disciplinary
action under the Staff regulations and Rules.”
The IIC has been given access to all relevant United Nations records and information and the Secretary-General has made it clear that all United Nations officials and personnel are expected to cooperate and make themselves available for interviews. The Committee will also obtain records and conduct interviews of individuals and entities not affiliated with the UN who may have knowledge relevant to the inquiry, including allegations of impropriety. Additionally, the Committee is mandated by Resolution 1538 to seek cooperation from UN Member States.
No, the IIC as an administrative
inquiry does not have subpoena powers. As a practical matter, the power to
subpoena individuals and documents typically does not extend beyond the
jurisdiction of the issuing authority. Since the IIC already has access to all
UN documents and Personnel, and most of the other relevant documents, persons
and entities, are located outside of the US, the lack of subpoena power does
not affect its investigation.
No. There are several investigative bodies with the mandate and the authority to investigate parts of the Programme. In Iraq, there is the Iraqi Interim Government’s inquiry conducted by Ernst & Young. In the US, several Congressional Committees as well as judicial bodies are investigating the Programme, with a focus on the involvement of American companies. In the UK, the Office of Customs and Excise has focused on the role of British companies in the Programme.
The Committee has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the sharing of information from the Supreme Board of Audit of Iraq and the Coalition Provisional Authority and that Understanding has been reaffirmed with the new Iraqi Interim Government.
The Committee will cooperate with any other inquiry to the extent possible, consistent with maintaining the integrity of its own investigation.