The Oil for Food program was established by the United Nations and Iraq in 1996 to address concerns about the humanitarian situation after international sanctions were imposed in 1990. The program allowed the Iraqi government to use the proceeds of its oil sales to pay for food, medicine, and infrastructure maintenance. Allegations of fraud and corruption have plagued the Oil for Food program. As we have testified and others have reported, the former regime gained illicit revenues through smuggling and through illegal surcharges and commissions on Oil for Food contracts. The United Nations' Independent Inquiry Committee was established in April 2004 to investigate allegations of corruption and misconduct within the Oil for Food program and its overall management of the humanitarian program. In January 2005, the Committee publicly released 58 internal audit reports conducted by the United Nations' Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). GAO (1) provides information on OIOS' background, structure, and resources; (2) highlights the findings of the internal audit reports; and (3) discusses limitations on the audits' coverage.
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