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UNAMID overpaid a contractor by 5,3 million USD

April 18 - 2010 EL FASHER

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has tried to defend UN management against an audit report that describes ‘serious irregularities’ by the peacekeeping department, including in Darfur. Irregularities included an overpayment of $5.3 million to a contractor, delivery of equipment by the contractor to the wrong locations and contract equipment costing $3.3 million being delivered but not used throughout the duration of the contract since the government of Sudan did not provide approval for its use. The report of the auditor has been sent to the General Assembly of the UN after heavy criticism by donor countries.

On air transportation, the submission time frame allowed for bids from potential vendors was far shorter than the minimum time required, resulting in the exclusion of reputable vendors from the bidding process and the selection of vendors that may not have been in the best interest of the United Nations. The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) undertook local procurement actions valued at $9.5 million without local procurement authority. Another 163 items in the Mission’s inventory, valued at $0.7 million, were received by UNAMID already past life expectancy. Some items, including medical supplies, had exceeded their life expectancy by over 26 months.

Remarkably, the auditor found that UNAMID used less than 80 percent of total flight hours that were budgeted for it; and the actual flight hours of three helicopters accounted for only 10 percent of the budgeted flight hours. UNAMID had complained over the past years about having a lack of helicopters to carry out its duties. Auditors say they ”continue to be concerned” with the UN secretariat’s “persistent non-compliance” in implementing their recommendations to improve the situation, and add that it is “of great concern” that “effective remedies have not been applied”. Ban Ki Moon has to convince contributing countries to contribute to the overall peacekeeping operations that add up to 8.4 billion US dollars per year. Ban Ki Moon says the procedures are improving.

(Photo – United Nations building in New York, Wikipedia Commons)

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