Friday, April 01, 2005

So you reckon there is no connection?

Word reaches us from another blogiste-confrère that there might be an interesting development in the career of one Franz-Hermann Brüner, at present Director-General of OLAF, the Commission’s own anti-fraud unit, that has been embroiled in more scandals than Enron.

Its most recent achievement was a report, which we shall cover in more detail, that showed beyond any possible doubt (well, errm, beyond any doubt that members of OLAF might have) that the millions of euros handed over to the Palestinian Authority over the years could not possibly have gone to any terrorist organization.

Mind you, they have no idea where it did go and for some reason none of it actually went to the Palestinian people, but that has not stopped OLAF from pronouncing on the subject.

So where do you think Franz-Herman Brüner might be going? Give up? I’ll tell you.

You may have noticed that there has been a certain flap in that holy of holies, the United Nations. Among other things the Volcker Report mentioned was the fact that Dileep Nair, who heads the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services, had hired an assistant using money from the oil-for-food programme.

So what you might ask. A busy man like Mr Nair needs assistants. Unfortunately, this one did no work for the programme. No-one seems to be able to establish whether said assistant did any work at all.

Nair is about to come to the end of his five year term, so this report has not come at a particularly good time. Not only is he being charged with violations of UN staff regulations but there is a strong possibility of old charges that had been dismissed with a contemptuous shrug resurfacing. These, needless to say, have to do with sexual harassment (are they all at it?) and hiring favouritism on the basis of nationality (yes, they are all at it).

So, Fred Eckhard, UN chief spokesman (there’s a job I would not want for all the tea in China) has produced a short list of possible successors. And who heads the list? Yup, that’s right. Our own Herr Brüner.

And there are still people out there, who think there is no connection between all these organizations and the tranzi staff that fill them?

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