The inquiry is headed up by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
"Preliminary investigation is under way in priority areas," the Independent Inquiry Committee said in a news release. "These concern the allegations of corruption and mal-administration within the United Nations, its relationships with certain contractors and the performance of the contractors themselves."
A Memorandum of Understanding was reached with the Iraqi Bureau of Supreme Audit and the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, the committee said. The international accounting firm of Ernst & Young was hired to identify and organize important Iraqi records with respect to the Oil-for-Food Program, the panel said.