Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Oil For Food, Part Twelve: A Summary of the Second Interim Report

I do the heavy lifting, so you don't have to...

The committee seeks to answer three questions in the report:
  1. Was the selection of Cotecna in 1998 free of improper or illicit influence, and conducted according to regulations, including competitive bidding?
  2. Was the conduct of Kofi Annan adequate, particularly regarding possible or apparent conflicts of interest?
  3. Were the actions of others free from impropriety or misrepresentation?
There then follows a lot of investigative narrative, but we want the good stuff, right? Here are the findings:
  • Kofi did not initiate a proper investigation when the conflict of interest arose; if he had, it is doubtful the contract with Cotecna would have been renewed.
  • Cotecna was awarded the bid properly, save for two items: it did not complete a required questionnaire and financial statement, relevant as it was in financial difficulties, and no attention was paid to a Swiss criminal investigation of its CEO, relating to a bribe for a contract (hello? anybody home?).
  • Kojo doesn't make out well at all. The committee finds that he deceived the investigators and his own father regarding his relationship with Cotecna.
  • Cotecna's CEO is also accused of misleading the committee and making false statements.
There are also a couple of sections dealing with relatively minor figures who stand accused of shredding documents and officeholding with little or no work involved.

So what does the committee recommend? Are you ready? ....tighter procedures on conflicts of interest....wow! Let's not get too hasty and do anything rash here!...

To be continued...

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