US Fund to Afghan Police at Risk of Waste

US Fund to Afghan Police at Risk of WasteUS Fund to Afghan Police at Risk of Waste

The United States is spending more than $300 million a year on Afghan police officer salaries despite a significant risk that the funds are being wasted and abused, a US government watchdog said Monday.

In an audit of Afghan National Police (ANP) salaries, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), said police rosters were inflated, staff were overpaid and payments were made to more employees than were authorized, Reuters reported.

It said the organizations responsible for verifying police data – the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the multi-national Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) - had not properly scrutinized figures provided by Afghanistan’s interior ministry (MOI).

“Officials confirmed that over the past year they accepted, without question, all personnel totals provided by the MOI,” SIGAR said.

Worries about lack of accountability have long dogged the trust fund established by the UNDP in 2002 to administer the payment of salaries of more than 145,000 Afghan police officers.

The US has provided 38 percent of the $3.6 billion that the international community has contributed to the fund since 2002, according to SIGAR. Overall, the US has poured more than $100 billion into reconstruction in Afghanistan according to reports.