Here are the reports from the IIC headed by Paul Volker:
EIKIW executive Summary of Interim Report:
Regarding the selection of contractors (Procurement):
"The investigatory record review herin is replete with convincing and uncontested evidence that the selection process for each of the three United Nations contractors selected in 1996 (namely, Banque Nationale de Paris, Saybolt Eastern Hemisphere BV, and Lloyd's Register Inspection Ltd.) did not conform to established financial and competitive bidding rules."
"The investigatory record clearly and repeatedly demonstrates that in deviating from the established financial and procurement rules, the decision-making process in 1996 for the United Nations contractors did not meet reasonable standards of fairness and transparency.
The consistent violations of prescribed procurement procedures, engaging in unfair practices, and failing to appropriately document decision-making processes, reflect adversely on one area of the United Nations' administration.
The report's conclusion regarding contractor selection, despite being "replete with convincing and uncontested evidence," is mealy-mouthed. They offer excuses about having to come up with contractors quickly for "an urgent, complex, and unprecedented program" ; they blame "politics"; and are unable, or unwilling, to ascribe motivation for the transgressions.
Regarding Benon Sevan and Oil Allocations (read: "bribes"):
"The committee concludes that Mr. Sevan, while employed as Executive Director of OIP, solicited and received on behalf of AEMP several million barrels of allocations of oil from 1998 to 2001, As a result of Mr. Sevan's conduct, AEMP's revenue--net bank fees and surcharge payment--totaled approximately $1.5 million.
The Committee finds also that Mr. Sevan's solicitations on behalf of AEMP and AEMP's resulting purchases of oil presented a grave and continuing conflict of interest, were ethically improper, and seriously undermined the integrity of the United Nations.
The report also concludes that Sevan's story about having gotten large sums of money "from his elderly aunt (now deceased)" didn't hold water. Even so they put off recommendations for action until further reports are issued.
EIKIW executive Summary of Comparison of Estimates: There was over $21 billion of illicit Iraqi (read: Saddam) income.
EIKIW overall analysis: These two reports combined are very nearly useless. They told us virtually nothing that we did not already know. Where we knew that Saddam had about $21 billion in illegal revenue from Oil for Food, we now know, if we can rely on the figures, that there was $21.149 billion. Hardly an advance in our knowledge.
Kofi Annon's name is mentioned only eight times in the report, only two of those were in the body text (pages 64, 157). On page 64 his name was mentioned to clearly establish when he turned over administration of Oil for Food to OIP. On page 157 he was listed as a participant in a meeting. All the rest are in footnotes, tables of contents, lists of officers, or in relation to his son Kojo.
Annan's son, and his connections to Cotecna, were mentioned, primarily, to say that they would not be mentioned in this report. We'll have to wait for another report; it's still in the works.
There were no recommendations made regarding Sevan.
This report was materially empty. Competent reporters like Claudia Rosette told us all of this and more, months ago. Making us wait even longer for reports which might, or might not, contain actual information amounts to nothing less than stalling. This is a whitewash.
Click "continue reading" if you want to read Annan's comments about the report. Can't say I recommend it; they're pretty empty, too.
Update: Instapundit points out a couple of blogs that draw similar conclusions.
Oil for Food, Part Eleven: This Song Sounds Familiar
The scenario: conservative journalists and bloggers throw a spotlight on a scandal the MSM would just as soon forget. The blistering criticism forces the organization implicated to sanction an independent investigation. As the time for the findings of the investigation nears, the conservatives begin to fear a whitewash. Finally, the report is released, and is quite damning in the individual details, but too tame in the conclusions drawn.
The Volcker investigation –for the moment– slides around Kofi Annan. It does not go to the most dicey and potentially ugly strategic issue: corruption in the Security Council.
Kofi Annon's comments on the report:
As chief administrative officer of the United Nations Organization, I am responsible and accountable to the member states for its management. Last year, in order to fulfil that responsibility, I set up, with the full support of the Security Council, an independent inquiry into the administration and management of the Oil-for-Food Programme, including allegations of fraud and corruption – so as to get a clear idea of what was wrong, and what remedial actions are needed. I asked Mr. Paul Volcker, Justice Richard Goldstone and Professor Mark Pieth – three men of extraordinary distinction in their respective fields of finance, law and criminology, men whose integrity and competence is beyond doubt – to conduct that inquiry.
Today they have presented, to me and to the public, an interim report, which I have immediately passed on to the Security Council.
Mr. Volcker has said that “the findings do not make for pleasant reading”, and I agree. Indeed, they make especially uncomfortable reading for all of us who love this Organization and have done our best to serve it over the years – for two reasons:
First, colleagues alongside whom we have worked face serious accusations. I made clear when I set up the inquiry that appropriate action, with full regard for due process, would be taken against individuals or entities found to have violated the rules or procedures of the UN. Accordingly, I have today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Joseph Stephanides, the person named in the report who is still on active duty, and against Benon Sevan, the former head the Office of the Iraq Programme, against whom the report contains extremely troubling evidence of wrongdoing. Mr. Sevan has retired from active duties but has, until now, been kept on staff at a token salary to ensure his availability to the Inquiry.
I made clear from the outset that no one found to have broken any laws would be shielded from prosecution. I stand by that pledge. Should any findings of the Inquiry give rise to criminal charges, the United Nations will cooperate with national law enforcement authorities pursuing those charges, and in the interests of justice I will waive the diplomatic immunity of the staff member concerned.
Secondly, while I am very glad to note the finding that United Nations budgeting, accounting, and administration were in general disciplined in maintaining the use of funds for Programme purposes, I must also take note of the findings that the initial procurement process for companies to carry out banking and inspection services fell far short of the standards of fairness, objectivity and transparency required by the Charter and by United Nations rules, and that the management controls and systems set up for the programme were, in many cases, inadequate to the task.
Measures have already been taken to remedy some of these defects. Other steps will be announced soon.
Meanwhile I wish to thank the members of the Inquiry committee for this report, which I regard as a significant step forward, since it clearly demonstrates their determination to get to the bottom of all the allegations, and to identify deficiencies in the mechanisms that we used to administer the programme. I note, in particular, their intention to publish a further interim report dealing with questions related to the procurement of a contractor that employed my son. I hope that report will come soon, and I await its findings with a clear conscience.
Finally, let me also thank the committee for judging the United Nations “against the highest standard of ethical behaviour”, and for their acknowledgement that “few institutions have freely subjected themselves to the intensity of scrutiny entailed in the Committee's work”.