Annan finds no grounds for disciplining former aide in OilforFood probe

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has found that there is no ground for disciplinary action against his former Chef de Cabinet, Iqbal Riza, who was criticized by the independent committee probing alleged misconduct and mismanagement in the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq for imprudently shredding documents. The Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) headed by former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker found that Mr. Riza acted imprudently and did not follow his own directive, but it found no violations of staff rules, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the daily news briefing in New York. “After reviewing the findings in the latest Volcker report and consulting with the Office of Legal Affairs as well as the Office of Human Resources, the Secretary-General has found there is no ground for disciplinary action against him,” Mr. Dujarric said. Mr. Annan has written Mr. Riza a letter informing him of the decision and accepting his apology for his actions, he added. In a preliminary report last month, Mr. Volcker said Mr. Riza had acted imprudently and in contravention of his own directives against shredding documents related to the programme when he granted an assistant’s request to shred three years of chronological files. “In light of the Secretary-General’s initiation of a formal investigation into the [Oil-for-Food] programme, Mr. Riza should have been aware, at the time he authorized the destruction, of his files’ potential materiality to an inquiry into the programme,” the report said. read more