2005/01/31

Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted for in Iraq

But really, what's $9 billion?

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq (news - web sites) was unable to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial controls, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general has found.


The U.S. officials relied on Iraqi audit agencies to account for the funds but those offices were not even functioning when the funds were transferred between October 2003 and June 2004, according to an audit by a special U.S. inspector general.

The findings were released Sunday by Stuart Bowen Jr., special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. Bowen issued several reports on the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the U.S. occupation government that ruled Iraq from June 2003 to June 2004.

The official who led the CPA, L. Paul Bremer III, submitted a blistering, written reply to the findings, saying the report had "many misconceptions and inaccuracies," and lacked professional judgment.

Bremer complained the report "assumes that Western-style budgeting and accounting procedures could be immediately and fully implemented in the immediately and fully implemented in the midst of a war."

U.S. officials, the report said, "did not establish or implement sufficient managerial, financial and contractural controls." There was no way to verify that the money was used for its intended purposes of financing humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction, repair of facilities, disarmament and civil administration..

4 Comments:

“But really, what's $9 billion?”.

Absolutely. At $3,000 each, it's only 3,000 HalliBurger burgers. 

Posted by WhyNot
1/31/2005 05:04:00 pm  
Down the contractor rat-hole once more. 

Posted by Sarah
1/31/2005 09:26:00 pm  
In the back of my brain I seem to remember when the Senate voted on the Iraq rebuilding fund the Democrats wanted the spending to require accountability and the idea was shot down.

I may be wrong about this and if so please do correct me.
 

Posted by Dianne
1/31/2005 09:50:00 pm  
Dianne,

“... require accountability ...”.

Require accountability??? Now go wash your mouth with soap at once fo hurling such vile anti-American insults!!! 

Posted by WhyNot
2/01/2005 12:14:00 am  

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