• publish: 20 October 2020
  • time: 4:57 pm
  • category: Economy
  • No: 15772

SIGAR: almost $19 billion lost to waste, fraud and abuse

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in their most recent report that as of December 19, US Congress appropriated nearly $134 billion since the 2002 fiscal year for Afghanistan reconstruction, of which nearly $19 billion was unaccounted for.

SIGAR stated in a report released last week: “Of that amount ($134 billion), SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion and found that nearly $19 billion of the amount reviewed was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.”

On July 17, 2018, SIGAR responded to your request of September 17, 2017 (see Appendix III for a copy of the letter) seeking information about the amount of waste, fraud, and abuse SIGAR had identified through its oversight work.

SIGAR stated that in 2018 they reported they had identified $15.5 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse between SIGAR’s inception in 2008 and December 31, 2017.

“Of this total, SIGAR identified approximately $12 billion in failed whole-of-government efforts related to US spending on counter-narcotics and stabilization programs in Afghanistan. 

“We believe funds for these efforts were wasted because the programs did not achieve their intended purpose,” a statement by John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. 

He said: “As promised in our July 2018 response to your request, we have updated the report to provide information on the total amount of waste, fraud, and abuse identified in SIGAR’s 111 published products and 55 closed investigations between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019. 

“This report adds nearly $3.4 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse to the previously reported amount based on our review of SIGAR’s published products and closed investigations,” he stated adding that “of this total, we specifically identified approximately $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds that we believe were wasted, $300 million that were lost to fraud, and $34 million that we believe were lost due to abuse.”

Sopko stated that the remaining $1.6 billion was allocated to counternarcotics efforts that SIGAR believes was wasted. 

SIGAR’s mandate is to review congressionally appropriated funds supporting reconstruction activities in Afghanistan and, therefore, our analysis represents just a portion of US government spending in Afghanistan. 

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