16 January 2008
The UN procurement task force has been awarded $4.9 million by the UN General Assembly to continue its inquiries into allegations of corruption.
The task force, which is headed by Robert Appleton, had been scheduled to finish its investigations into UN procurement by the end of 2007. But a report published by secretary general Ban Ki-moon in November said they were "unlikely" to meet this deadline.
The report asked the general assembly to approve just under $4.9 million (£2.5 million) for 2008, slightly less that the $5.1 million (£2.6 million) it spent in 2007, but more than the $3.7 million (£1.9 million) spent in 2006. The assembly approved a total budget for the UN of $4.17 billion (£2.12 billion) by 142 votes to one, with the US the lone dissenting voice.
The assembly said in a statement it regretted the "piecemeal manner in which the investigations-related issues" had been presented to it. It also authorised an audit into the task force's capacity and its compliance with UN transparency and accountability guidelines. The audit will report to the next session of the assembly.