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Vast sums of Iraq oil revenues have been stolen
28 June 2004

WASHINGTON, June 28 (HalliburtonWatch.org) - The U.S.-controlled Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) mismanaged Iraq's oil revenue, say the Liberal Democrats, United Kingdom's third largest political party, and the nonprofit charity Christian Aid. The Liberal Democrats report that $3.7 billion is missing from the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), a fund established in 2003 by the United Nations (UN) to hold Iraq's oil revenues. In addition, Christian Aid reported last October that $4 billion had disappeared from the DFI. The charity will soon report that an additional $20 million disappeared. Helen Collinson of Christian Aid said, "For the entire year that the CPA has been in power in Iraq it has been impossible to tell with any accuracy what the CPA has been doing with Iraq's money." The CPA said Iraqi oil revenues amounted to $10.8 billion between March 2003 and June 21, 2004. But the Liberal Democrats say the oil revenues are higher -- between $12.2 billion and $14.5 billion. Christian Aid put the oil revenue figure at $13 billion.

An ongoing audit of Iraq's oil revenues by U.S. accounting firm KPMG reportedly found vast sums of oil revenue had disappeared due to incompetence, theft and corruption. The audit is due for public release in July. An advanced copy of the audit was given to the Financial Times. The Times reported that CPA officials "resisted cooperating with the auditors" and refused to handover internal CPA audits of sole-source contracts that were awarded to Halliburton in 2003.

The British newspaper The Independent reported that "Huge contracts were given out to Western - overwhelmingly American - companies, some charging almost 10 times the price of local ones. Iraqi companies began to receive contracts only two months ago, and then only for projects of less than $500,000." UN Resolution 1483 requires that the DFI be independently audited. But KPMG was not appointed to the auditing job until April of this year, 11 months after President Bush declared an end to major hostilities in Iraq. Critics say the failure to appoint an auditor earlier resulted in billions of dollars in oil revenue being stolen from the Iraqi people.

The International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), which was set up by the UN to monitor Iraq's oil revenues, told Reuters that the CPA falsely claimed that it had awarded contracts to monitor Iraq�s oil production. The CPA's failure to provide monitoring equipment made Iraq's oil supplies vulnerable to smuggling and robbery.

More Information:

Christian Aid report