US cannot account for Iraqi billions

2012-01-30 22:54

Baghdad - The US Department of Defence cannot account for some $2bn of Iraqi funds it held, a report from a US watchdog said on Monday, in the latest case of apparently lax US oversight of spending in Iraq.

The defence department "cannot account for about two-thirds of the approximately $3bn in DFI [Development Fund for Iraq] funds," the report to the US Congress by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said, citing the findings of an audit it performed.

According to the audit, the money was made available by the Iraqi government to the defence department for making payments on contracts awarded by the US Coalition Provisional Authority, which ruled Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

Most of the money - $2.8bn - was held in a Federal Reserve Bank of New York account, while $217.7m was held in a vault in the presidential palace in Baghdad, SIGIR said.

Bank records indicate that the defence department made about $2.7bn in payments from the account, but it does not have "specifics about the payments or financial documents, such as vendor invoices, to support them," SIGIR said.

"It required only written approval from the [Iraqi government] to issue payment."

While the defence department was responsible for documenting the expenditure of the full $2.7bn, "it could provide SIGIR documentation to support only about $1bn."

The defence department also "cannot locate documentation supporting $119.4mof the $193.3m it spent from the $217.7m in cash remaining in the presidential palace vault when the CPA dissolved; $24.4m was returned to the GOI in March 2008," SIGIR said.

This is not the first time that questions have been raised about US accountability for Iraqi funds.

In June 2011, US officials acknowledged that $6.6bn in Iraq reconstruction funds had disappeared. But Iraq claims that $17bn is missing, and on October 6 formed a special committee to chase down the funds.

SIGIR however said in an October 30 report that an audit had accounted for most of $6.6bn in previously unaccounted-for funds.

"When the CPA was dissolved, the CPA administrator transferred control over almost all of the $6.6bn remaining in DFI funds" to the Iraqi central bank, the report said.

  • Carel de Lange - 2012-01-30 23:50

    This is a disgrace to humanity. All this shenanigans whilst a substantial amount of people in their own country cannot make ends meet or feed their families. Yet they want to lecture the rest of the world on good governance! Have mankind got insane?

      Anthony - 2012-01-31 07:09

      @Carel de Lange, Some money not accounted for; " a disgrace against humanity " ????!!!!!?????!!!!!! " have mankind gone insane " ?????!!!!!????!!!! Its more a case of an oportunity to on the USA. Have fun !!!

      John - 2012-01-31 08:50

      In case you are not aware - the USA has been spending an estimated $ 1 trillion dollars (one thousand billion dollars) every year in Iraq, to get rid of a dictator, and try to bring their country to normality. This is largely what has put the USA in a deficit situation of around $ 15 trillion. If you think they are there to steal money - ha ha, the few billions that are being talked about is a drop in the ocean compared to what the USA has spent trying to fix the country. And if you think they are there to steal oil - well no amount of oil in Iraq could ever pay for what the USA has spent there

      Fidel - 2012-01-31 09:04

      Anthony, still being apologetic for your Washington goons!

      Anthony - 2012-01-31 10:12

      @Fidel, Don't be so pathetic, and assume, what you like to believe. I have been against the US invasion into Iraq, from day one, so was I against Vietnam, and a number of other US "adventures". But to make a comment, that for some money to be unaccounted for, is "a crime against humanity" is; DUMB and STUPID. But to the ones who are so blinded with their anti Western feelings; Have a Great US Bashing Day !!!!!

      Louwhan - 2012-01-31 11:32

      Federal foreign aid is taking money from poor people in rich countries (real tax payers in the USA) and giving it to rich people in poor countries (here we have another case). Ron Paul

      Barry - 2012-01-31 12:56

      Genuine proof the yanks are nothing better than common thieves. Anthony on the other hand thinks they are absolute angels. One day the shoe will be on the other foot and USA will have Global sanctions imposed on it.

      Anthony - 2012-01-31 14:35

      @Barry, Before you start thinking for others, Think for yourself, that will be a hard enough task!!!!!!!!

      Barry - 2012-02-01 08:16

      @Anthony.. Ha Ha..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shireen - 2012-01-30 23:59

    sounds familiar! The American government are a bunch of crooks! The Iraqis are living in abject poverty!! Cursed is America!!!

  • Leon - 2012-01-31 02:02

    These people are in the money stealing business The Great Iraq Swindle: How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury The pentagon announced the day before 9/11 that it was unable to account for 2.1 Trillion

  • Alfred - 2012-01-31 04:59

    Looks like corruption and incompetence are not just 3rd world phenomena. In america the corruption is not so much about 'buying' a drivers license, its about 100 billion Dollars 'no bid' contracts with the likes of companies like Halliburton. The corruption dollars in just one of those deals is probably worth more than the total corruption in the rest of the world. Our tenderpreneurs pale in comparison. Any international corruption watchdog organization that does not place america at the very top of its list should not be taken seriously.

  • Graeme - 2012-01-31 06:35

    Shaik Shaik Shaik - shake your booty

  • Leon - 2012-01-31 08:12

    Was the US Department of Defence assisted by the SA Government?

      Bernd - 2012-01-31 08:44

      Wonder why Zuma went to the USA recently . With 3 Planes .Maybe he is bringing his share back.

  • Sharmay - 2012-01-31 08:29

    Check the Bush account..

      Bernd - 2012-01-31 08:46

      Seems just as we cannot get the bush out of Africa , it appears we cannot get Bush out of the USA

  • Fiboy - 2012-01-31 08:40

    And so the s**t hits the fan...this is the nation that goes around telling other nations how to be proper? My guess is, this is vjust the tip of the iceberg. Isn't it common knowledge that the US uses wars and terror to print money? National interest is not limited to oil and overseas bases it seems.

      Fidel - 2012-01-31 09:03

      It's the tip of the iceberg indeed. The whole Iraqi business was the biggest fraud committed in history with billions of US taxpayer funds going to private contractors. Iraqi gold is unaccounted for!

      Anthony - 2012-01-31 10:44

      @Fidel, Why are you suddenly so concerned what happens to the US taxpayer?????????

      Louwhan - 2012-01-31 11:39

      @ Fidel You mean it was a bigger scam than the housing bubble? Bigger scam than the Federal reserve devaluating the wealth of the world thanks to being part of a global dollar based economy. Many Americans know things are not too well and many are starting to ignore the MSM. There is an intellectual revolution in the making.

      Fidel - 2012-01-31 12:54

      The biggest of scams occured in 1913 when the US government was usurped by foreign bankers (Bank of England) through the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank, which is neither federal and has no reserves.

      Fidel - 2012-01-31 12:55

      @Anthony Who said I was, am merely stating facts.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-31 09:21

    And the US debt burden is suddenly lightened

  • Nathi - 2012-01-31 10:09

    Corruption is global.

  • Gavin - 2012-01-31 14:13

    How can you tell when an american is lying to you - it's lips are moving. If we can put one of them on the moon - why can't we put them all there ? If an American makes you a promise - bring lots of body bags. The loss of all of this money, helps explain what happened in 2008/2009 - the money/liquidity just f'ing disappeared...

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