03 March 2009
Political interference is damaging investigations into corruption at the United Nations, according to a US think tank.
A report published by The Heritage Foundation said the shutdown of the task force investigating procurement fraud at the organisation is threatening oversight.
The Procurement Task Force stopped operating at the end of 2008 when its funding ended, even though it had around 150 outstanding cases. The UN planned to transfer these to the investigation division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).
The study said some countries had tried to block the transfer of staff between the task force and OIOS. It added although this move was defeated, some nations said they would continue to oppose the idea.
"This delay is part of an effort to derail Procurement Task Force investigations and undermine oversight at the UN," said the report.