US Senator seeks report on oversight of funds in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, DC (PAN): An influential US Senator on Tuesday asked top Obama administration officials for a report on the oversight of US funds in Afghanistan. She also asked for their plans to improve accountability and coordination.
Senator Claire McCaskill, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, has sent letters to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker asking for their plans to improve interagency coordination and accountability.
She also asked them to provide a timetable for implementing recommendations recently issued by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. In a report dated July 20, 2011, the Inspector General found that federal agencies have “a lack of visibility over US cash entering the Afghan economy,” and that agencies have not implemented needed safeguards.
“At [a Senate] hearing, no witness could name a single office or individual across government that was responsible, and therefore accountable, for overseeing and coordinating contracting efforts in Afghanistan,” McCaskill wrote.
Meanwhile, the State Department said it had conducted a thorough review of its own contracting procedures in Afghanistan. “We instituted a whole raft of new procedures designed to improve the way we do this in terms of transparency, in terms of understanding more clearly and being able to track in a better way how the money is spent,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
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