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The Conflict in Iraq

Oil Poorly Managed, Agency Says

June 23, 2004|From Reuters

UNITED NATIONS — The U.S.-led occupation is managing billions of dollars of Iraqi oil money sloppily and moving at a glacial pace to guard against corruption, an international watchdog agency said Tuesday.

The Coalition Provisional Authority has yet to award contracts for equipment to meter Iraq's oil production, leaving a door open to smuggling, despite earlier saying that it had awarded the contracts, the International Advisory and Monitoring Board said.

The U.N. Security Council set up the monitoring agency in May 2003 to ensure that the U.S.-led civil administration was marketing Iraqi oil properly and using the money for Iraqi reconstruction.

The board issued its criticism after a two-day meeting in Paris.

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