20 February 2006 | Anusha Bradley
ESS will once again supply food to peacekeepers in Eritrea despite an investigation into the award of the original contract.
The company, a subsidiary of UK catering firm Compass, was suspended as a supplier to the United Nations (UN) in October after scrutiny of the oil-for-food programme revealed the company had been leaked confidential documents.
Following the suspension, the UN said it would issue tenders for new suppliers for ESS's seven contracts to feed peacekeepers - worth a total of £153 million.
But last week, the UN confirmed it had extended one contract with ESS in Eritrea, Africa, for a further six months.
A UN spokesman told supplymanagement.com
: "It takes months to get a new rations contractor mobilised and therefore it is necessary to extend the current contract for a limited period so food and rations are available at the peacekeeping missions without interruption."
He said tenders for the remaining contracts have now been issued, but Compass has been "suspended from responding to future tenders" because of the investigation.