July 11, 2005

Rosett on UNCC

Still lots of catching up to do, and that includes another Rosett update on the Oil-For-Food scandal. This time Ms. Rosett takes a look at the United Nations Compensation Commission and the questions about the $19 billion that they were authorized to dispense.

As usual with U.N. programs, the accounting is opaque, the overhead is scandalously high, and they don't like reporters or anyone else asking questions.

...the mind-bending number is the $19.2 billion in Iraqi oil revenues disbursed by the UNCC, which — to name a handy benchmark — comes to more than three times the $6 billion pledged by various governments and private organizations for tsunami relief.

The UNCC awards have been allocated in largely secret proceedings, overseen by a total of 58 commissioners over the years, working in groups of threes. And though the names of some of the recipients and partial breakdowns of the sums paid out are available on the UNCC website, the information is both confusing and incomplete. We are told, for example, that thousands of Palestinians received compensation awards, but the names of individuals are withheld, and the money is disbursed via the governments of the claimants — in this case, the Palestinian Authority.

Posted by dan at July 11, 2005 1:41 PM