Today I received the following email communication (UNCLASSIFIED) from SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) regarding the inability of Afghan government ministries to account for over $1 billion dollars in direct aid from USAID funds.
Today, SIGAR released an audit on direct assistance to Afghanistan that reviewed USAID’s assessments and risk reviews of Afghan government ministries. The U.S. government has committed more than $1 billion to the Afghan government via direct assistance. The audit reports that the Afghan ministries are unable to manage and account for U.S. funds.
Among the audits findings:
–USAID contractors assessed 16 Afghan ministries and found they are unable to manage and account for funds; they identified 696 recommendations for corrective action — 41 percent of them rated “critical” or “high risk.”
–USAID’s own risk reviews of seven Afghan ministries concluded each ministry is unable to manage U.S. direct assistance funds. The reviews identified 107 major risks — 99 of them rated critical or high.
–USAID said it would not award direct assistance dollars to these Afghan ministries “under normal circumstances.” USAID waived its own requirements for providing direct assistance funds.
–USAID has not required the Afghan ministries to fix most of the risks identified prior to receiving U.S. money.
–USAID’s assessments revealed a high risk of corruption at the Afghan ministries.
–USAID failed to fully disclose to Congress that none of the ministries it assessed are capable of managing direct assistance funds.
–USAID insisted that SIGAR withhold key information from Congress and the public, even though USAID shared it with the Afghan government.
Today, SIGAR also released the January 2014 quarterly report to Congress, which contains the latest review of Afghanistan reconstruction.
Quarterly Report to Congress: http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2014Jan30QR.pdf
If you would like any additional information or have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me or our Director of Public Affairs, Phil LaVelle, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 545-5974.
Public Affairs Specialist
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction