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Board Overseeing Iraq Oil Revenues Briefs UN

Board Overseeing Iraq Oil Revenues Briefs Security Council

The United Nations Security Council was today briefed in closed-door consultations on the report of the international oversight body for the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), which was set up last year to take over management of the country's petroleum revenues.

Following the meeting, UN Controller Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, who chairs the International Monitoring and Advisory Board (IAMB), told reporters that he had relayed the Board's concerns on key issues to the Council.

He said one was a lack of "metering" to measure the crude being extracted at the source, and because of this, "there could be no guarantee that all the oil could be accounted for."

Mr. Halbwachs noted that the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) had worked to address the lack of meters, but predicted that the complicated problem would take over a year to resolve.

The second issue concerned barter. As a result of that practice, "money does not go into the DFI," Mr. Halbwachs said.

The IAMB also had concerns about sole-sourced contracts, he said, noting that there had been a number of audits of the problem. "We are seeking to see these audits to see what is in there [but] we have not been able to do so," he said.

He noted that on the general problem of sole-sourced contracts, "if you don't go to bids to get a contract, you are not sure that you actually got a very good price for it."

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