July 15, 2004 – Auditors working for a United Nations oversight panel have found that the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) spent billions of dollars in Iraqi oil money without following its own procedures. The International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), a panel established by the UN last May to oversee spending of Iraqâ€™s oil money, said an audit prepared by the accounting firm KPMG showed that the CPA skirted its own rules for awarding contracts, with some expenditures receiving "inappropriate authorization."
According to auditors, the coalitionâ€™s Program Review Board (PRB) awarded six contracts in 2003, even though attendance of voting members fell short of the 70 percent required to even hold a vote. In addition, four contracts were awarded without any competitive bidding, and seven other contracts "did not contain evidence of tender procedures having been followed and also appeared to be sole-sourced," the auditors reported.
After the US invasion, the UN established the Development Fund for Iraq, an account holding the countryâ€™s oil revenues and money from the sanctions-era Oil-for-Food Program. The CPA was to spend the money solely for the benefit of the Iraqi people. Before dissolving last month, the coalitionâ€™s own web site showed that the CPA had approved the spending of more than $19 billion of the $20 billion in the account, leaving little money for Iraqâ€™s interim government.