14 January 2008 | Paul Snell
Corruption and mismanagement has affected hundreds of millions of dollars worth of procurement contracts, according to investigators.
The UN procurement task force, set up in January 2006 to examine fraud in purchasing contracts, found that $600 million (£306 million) of the $1.4 billion (£712 million) of contracts it had investigated were "tainted" by some form of waste or fraud.
Robert Appleton, chairman of the task force, told a press conference: "$1.4 billion is not every contract in the UN. There's no question that some of the large contracts here have been tainted, but in terms of the number of contracts, it's not anywhere near the majority."
The task force currently has 300 cases pending, and was recently granted new to continue its work into 2008.
Inga-Britt Ahlenius, under-secretary-general for the Office of Internal Oversight Services, told reporters: "There is no excuse for having poor internal control mechanisms and for tolerating mismanagement and certainly not corruption and fraud."