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The Washington Post, December 18, 2009

Contracting in Afghanistan

Buildings constructed for the Agriculture Ministry were found to have serious defects, including improperly installed floors and tiles, wrong fuses in the electrical system and settlement cracks

Well-informed sources from the Attorney General’s office and National Assembly have given the list of 21 high-ranked officials of the government accused of taking bribes and corruption to the Wakht News Agency. The list includes the names of 11 former and present ministers; 6 former and present governors; several general directors; advisors of ministers and other officials, who misused their governmental ranks and wasted huge amounts of money.

This list includes the present Foreign Minister Mr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, Interior Minister Mr. Hanif Atmar, Minister of Hajj and Islamic Affairs Mohammad Siddique Chakari, Finance Minister Jalil Shams and Nematullah Shahrani, an important advisor to the president.

The list also includes former ministers of Karzai’s government including Hamidullah Qadri the Minister of Transportation, Akbar Akbar the Refugees’ Minister, Mr. Ramin the Agriculture Minister, Inayatullah Qasimi the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Farhang the Minister of Trade and Mrs. Masouda Jalal the Women’s minister.
PAN (Translated by RAWA), Dec. 16, 2009

Federal auditors have identified more than $950 million in "questioned and unsupported" costs submitted by Defense Department contractors. The figure excludes potential waste from contracts with other departments or agencies, such as USAID. The following are some of the cases of waste, fraud and abuse:

-- A $305 million project to increase power generation in Afghanistan was expected to produce 140 megawatts of additional electrical power in Kabul and two provinces. The project produced only 12 megawatts of power and resulted in cost overruns of at least $39 million.

-- A four-year, $102 million contract to improve agricultural production and efficiency in rural Afghanistan failed to comply with some contract requirements. Buildings constructed for the Agriculture Ministry were found to have serious defects, including improperly installed floors and tiles, wrong fuses in the electrical system and settlement cracks.

-- A program created to provide military commanders with funds to spend on small-scale projects to address humanitarian and reconstruction needs has instead been used mostly to fund large-scale projects; in some cases, managers were unable to determine whether projects had been completed.

SOURCE: Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee on contracting oversight

Category: Corruption - Views: 6499