Subject: SMH: UN Rejects Waste Claim

UN Rejects Waste Claim Mark Dodd

05/27/2000 Sydney Morning Herald Page 25 Copyright of John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd

Dili: The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) has denied reports it will spend $US15 million ($28 million) on the purchase of new motor vehicles to equip its civilian police.

It follows complaints by the pro-independence National Council of Timorese Resistance that the UN has been stonewalling on explaining how it spends donor funds for its East Timor peacekeeping operation.

Independence leader and the council's president, Mr Xanana Gusmao, has threatened to withdraw from a planned Lisbon donors' conference next month unless UNTAET can explain where it spends its money.

One of the budget queries involved a claim by the council that UNTAET intended to spend $15 million for motor vehicles to equip its police force.

A spokeswoman for UNTAET, Ms Barbara Reis, said yesterday that $US3.2 million would be spent acquiring more than 200 vehicles for the new police force. The $US15 million was earmarked for civil service salaries, bulk fuel purchase and assorted office and communications equipment, she said.

The council yesterday confirmed Mr Gusmao was still undecided about attending the Lisbon meeting.

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