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Internal UN Audits Reveal Lack of Proper Oversight

Advance copies of the United Nations' internal audit of its oil-for-food program reportedly show that U.N. officials wasted money and overlooked massive overcharges by contractors.

News reports published Sunday in the United States say the audits, part of an extensive independent report to be released on Monday, criticize a former top aide to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Benon Sevan, and the U.N. office he headed that ran the oil-for-food program. However, the advance portions of the audit described by The New York Times and Associated Press do not reveal any systematic corruption or bribery.

Mr. Annan named an independent panel to investigate the program following allegations that billions of dollars were diverted by some members of the former Saddam Hussein regime and other corrupt officials. The program was created in 1996 to help the people of Iraq after the first Gulf War.

Former U.S. central bank chief Paul Volcker heads the independent commission. He said last week that no clear-cut evidence of wrongdoing has been found.

Some information for this report provided by AP.