Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Finally.. A New "Free" Iraq - 1

"U.S. officials in charge of the Development Fund for Iraq drained all but $900 million from the $20 billion fund by late June in what one watchdog group has called an '11th-hour splurge.'

"An international monitoring board is planning an audit of money from the development fund that was spent on contracts for Iraq's reconstruction that were approved without competitive bidding.

"The fund, made up largely of Iraqi oil revenue, is intended to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq. Critics have charged that U.S. officials have failed to account properly for money spent so far.

"In a report this week, the General Accounting Office said 'contracts worth billions of dollars in Iraqi funds have not been independently reviewed.' It also questioned what control over U.S.-approved contracts would now exist with the handover of formal sovereignty to Iraqis."

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