January 31, 2005: Headlines: Iraq: Appropriations: AP News: The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq 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. How about giving 1% ($90 M) of that to the Peace Corps in next year's appropriation?

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: Expansion: Expansion: February 1, 2005: Headlines: Expansion: Presidents - Bush: Legislation: Appropriations: USA Today: Presidential promises scorecard: A review of President Bush's key promises in past State of the Union addresses and the results to date: For the Peace Corps, Promises not funded are promises not kept : January 31, 2005: Headlines: Iraq: Appropriations: AP News: The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq 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. How about giving 1% ($90 M) of that to the Peace Corps in next year's appropriation?

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.48.182) on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 10:11 am: Edit Post

The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq 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. How about giving 1% ($90 M) of that to the Peace Corps in next year's appropriation?

The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq 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.  How about giving 1% ($90 M) of that to the Peace Corps in next year's appropriation?

The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq 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. How about giving 1% ($90 M) of that to the Peace Corps in next year's appropriation?

Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted for in Iraq
Email this Story

Jan 31, 9:56 AM (ET)

By LARRY MARGASAK

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq 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 midst of a war."

The inspector general said the occupying agency disbursed $8.8 billion to Iraqi ministries "without assurance the moneys were properly accounted for."

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.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Sunday the authority was hamstrung by "extraordinary conditions" under which it worked throughout its mission.

"We simply disagree with the audit's conclusion that the CPA provided less than adequate controls," Whitman said.

Turning over the money "was in keeping with the CPA's responsibility to transfer these funds and administrative responsibilities to the Iraqi ministries as an essential part of restoring Iraqi governance."

The inspector general cited an International Monetary Fund assessment in October, 2003 on the poor state of Iraqi government offices. The assessment found ministries suffered from staff shortages, poor security, disruptions in communications, damage and looting of government buildings, and lack of financial policies.

Some of the transferred funds may have paid "ghost" employees, the inspector general found.

CPA staff learned that 8,206 guards were on the payroll at one ministry, but only 602 could be accounted for, the report said. At another ministry, U.S. officials found 1,417 guards on the payroll but could only confirm 642.

When staff members of the U.S. occupation government recommended that payrolls be verified before salary payments, CPA financial officials "stated the CPA would rather overpay salaries than risk not paying employees and inciting violence," the inspector general said.

Bremer attacked many of the specific findings. Among his rebuttal points:

_With more than a million Iraqi families depending on government salaries, there would have been an increased security threat if civil servants had not been paid until modern pay records were developed.

_U.S. policy was to build up the Iraqi force guarding government facilities, and it was better to accept an imperfect payroll system than "to stop paying armed young men" providing security.

_The report was suggesting the CPA "should have placed hundreds of CPA auditors" in Iraqi ministries, contrary to United States and United Nations policy of giving Iraqi ministers responsibility for their budgets.

_The CPA established a program review board, an independent judiciary and inspector generals in each agency to fight corruption.

The inspector general's report rejected Bremer's criticism. It concluded that despite the war, "We believe the CPA management of Iraq's national budget process and oversight of Iraqi funds was burdened by severe inefficiencies and poor management."





When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 22 2005 No: 391 January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Spread Freedom but not at gunpoint 22 Jan
Dodd has ring side seat at Inauguration 21 Jan
Peace Corps works in Georgia 21 Jan
Trey Aven monitored Ukraine elections 21 Jan
RPCV group makes quiet indie-pop 21 Jan
Anthony Shriver considers race for Florida Governor 20 Jan
Thomas Tighe says internet brought funds to DRI 20 Jan
Stacy Jupiter researches Australia ecosystems 20 Jan
Libby Garvey is education activist 20 Jan
David McIntyre captures medals on land and in water 19 Jan
Carol Bellamy new president of World Learning 18 Jan
Reed Hastings crossed "Latino Caucus'' 18 Jan
RPCVs sponsor Freeze for Food to aid Colombia farmers 18 Jan
RPCVs urge Bush to aid Democracy in Ukraine 17 Jan
Tom Petri proposes changes in student loan program 17 Jan
Golden Globe Win for Jamie Foxx in RPCV's "Ray" 17 Jan
Stephen Smith is new consul-general in Australia 17 Jan

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: AP News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Iraq; Appropriations

PCOL16757
56

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: