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However, recent reports indicate that these new procedures may not be sufficient to prevent a recurrence of fraud and corruption. According to a 2007 OIOS report, an examination of $1.4 billion of peacekeeping con tracts turned up "significant" corruption schemes that tainted $619 million (over 40 percent) of the contracts. An audit of the U.N. mission in Sudan revealed tens of millions of dollars lost to mismanagement and waste and substantial indications of fraud and corruption. Moreover, the OIOS revealed in 2008 that it was investigating approximately 250 instances of wrongdoing ranging from sexual abuse by peace keepers to financial irregularities. According to Inga-Britt Ahlenius, head of the OIOS, "We can say that we found mismanagement and fraud and corruption to an extent we didn't really expect." Worse, even the OIOS seems to be susceptible to improper influence. In 2006, U.N. peacekeepers were accused of having illegal dealings with Congolese militias, including gold smuggling and arms trafficking. The lead OIOS investigator in charge of investigating the charges found the allegations against Pakistani peacekeepers to be "credible," but reported that the "the investigation was taken away from my team after we resisted what we saw as attempts to influence the outcome.My fellow team members and I were appalled to see that the oversight office's final report was little short of a whitewash." The BBC and Human Rights Watch have provided evidence that the U.N. covered up evidence of wrong doing by its peacekeepers in Congo.
The absence of a truly independent inspector general at the U.N. is an ongoing problem. It underscores the U.N.'s irresponsibility in refusing to extend the mandate of the independent U.N. Procurement Task Force, which was taking great strides in uncovering mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in U.N. procurement. The U.N. needs more independent over sight, not less, especially since U.N. procurement has increased rapidly along with the number and size of peacekeeping missions. According to the U.N. Department of Field Support, total value for U.N. peace keeping procurement transactions was $1.43 billion in 2008. If this procurement follows previous pat terns revealed by Procurement Task Force and OIOS investigations, some 40 percent (nearly $600 million) could be tainted by fraud. The alleged perpetrators include U.N. military and civilian personnel from a number of U.N. member states involved in peace operations and from U.N. funds and programs. The victims are often refugees--many of them children--who have been terrorized by years of war and look to U.N. peacekeepers for safety and protection. In addition to the horrible mistreatment of those under U.N. protection,sexual exploitation and abuse undermine the credibility of U.N.