September 16, 2014

Afghanistan dismiss US Audit Watchdog’s remarks

By Sayed Jawad - Thu Feb 14 2013, 3:03 pm

Afghanistan deny SIGAR's remarks on foreign aidAfghan government officials confirm corruption in governmental departments however the officials insist that the institutions have the capabilities to spend international aid properly and in a transparent way.

Afghan finance ministry denied remarks by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and said the government of Afghanistan is able to properly use the international aid.

A spokesman for the Afghan finance ministry Wahidullah Tawhidi on Thursday said the government’s transparency and effectiveness in spending the foreign aid has been more than the other organiztions who are spending the foreign aid in the country.

He said, “We deny the report since various reports by World Bank and other international organizations shows that around 85% of the aid spent by the Afghan government has been appropriate and transparent while the foreign aid spent independently and by non-governmental organizations had only 15% effectiveness and in some cases corruption has been noted in those institutions activities.”

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being wasted in Afghanistan on fruitless reconstruction projects that are awash in corruption and have little government oversight.

“The Afghan government does not appear to have the capacity to manage the amount of funding envisioned in the international community’s pledges of direct assistance,” Sopko told a House Committee in testimony prepared for a House of Representatives hearing.

In the meantime Mohammad Yasin Osmani member of the committee for oversight and anti-corruption department of Afghanistan said John Sopko’s remarks are acceptable somehow however he said that he does not agree with all his comments.

He said that the capacity of the Afghan government to spend foreign aid has increased but still there some issues within the Afghan government that needs to be resolved.

This comes as Afghanistan and United States during president Hamid Karzai’s visit agreed to spend 50% of the foreign aid through the Afghan government.

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  1. The Afghan law makes it very very difficult to charge or convict a government leader on a fraud or theft charge. Regardless of evidence and proof that would be accepted as conclusive evidence of such crimes in US or International law, Afghan law requires a male witness who actually saw the theft or fraud occur etc. The US and other countries should require the Afghan Government to consent to apply international or US law to the theft or fraud of International or US funds . The Government should agree to allow US or International investigators to seek evidence and to arrest and jail offenders and bring them to international or US courts for TRIAL. Along with this agreement, allow US or International forces to identify arrest and remove the offenders to a natural location for prosecution. The Afghan government and participating nations should have the ability to seize all assets of an offending government offender or subcontractor to ensure the money is repaid and put to its intended uses. Without such agreements no money should be provided. As an example of Afghan law…the killing of a dog intentionally carries a death penalty that can be avoided with giving blood money, if unintentional it requires the giving of a sheep or cash to seek forgiveness of the owner. If in other cases like rape, theft or murder the only witnesses are females then no witness information can be used and no prosecution can be had etc.

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