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New Briefs: Keeping an Eye on the U.N.'s Bookkeepers

New Briefs: Keeping an Eye on the U.N.'s Bookkeepers

UNITED NATIONS(AP) - U.N. peacekeeping missions show one sure sign of a growth industry;

they've attracted the eyes of the auditors.

Annual spending on U.N. peacekeeping ventures has exploded, from about U.S. $200

million five years ago to almost U.S. $3 billion this year.

Budget reviewers are raising some multimillion dollar questions, giving U.N. critics

ammunition in their efforts to rein in the world organization.

The U.N. advisory committee on administrative and budgetary questions took a look

at the U.N. peacekeeping operation in Cambodia and found:

  • The budgeted ratio of vehicles to personnel-one for every 1.6 staff members-was

    too high

  • Planners budgeted for too many computers and computer printers.
  • Daily subsistence allowances for U.N. personnel, projected at U.S. $145 or higher,

    were excessive.

The U.N. board of auditors has complained about the accounting methods in peacekeeping

operations and poor inventory control of U.N. property. Administrators blame the

fast-growing peacekeeping work-load, saying it has outrun their resources for oversight.

Collective eyes will stay focused on the bottom line, however, as U.S. President-elect

Clinton has signalled support for an expanded U.N. military role in keeping the peace.

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