SIGAR misrepresenting facts: MoF
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Saturday rejected the latest assessment of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) on direct assistance to the government.
On Thursday, the American watchdog said the Afghan government was incapable of ensuring that direct US financial assistance to the country would be used without risk of misuse and corruption.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) found and shared this inability with Afghan ministries. "USAID contractors assessed 16 Afghan ministries and found they are unable to manage and account for funds," the watchdog said.
USAID's own risk reviews of seven Afghan ministries concluded each ministry was unable to manage direct assistance, it alleged. The US has committed id="mce_marker".6 billion in direct aid to the government in Kabul this year.
But Ministry of Finance spurned the report as baseless, saying the 2012 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) by the World Bank ranked Afghanistan’s systems better than any least developed and developing countries and on a par with middle-income states.
Similarly, the International Budget Partnership ranks Afghanistan’s budgetary system the 2nd most open in South Asia, 4th in Asia and 26th in the world.
“The SIGAR audit does not identify a single instance of waste, fraud or abuse of USAID’s direct assistance programme. SIGAR John F. Sopko consistently misrepresents facts for media attention,” the ministry said.
“The Ministry of Finance and the government of Afghanistan, therefore, don't take anything that comes from SIGAR seriously. The noise created by SIGAR is clearly aimed at media attention and self-aggrandizement.”
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