• Blah Blah USAID Project Dies from Fraud Blah Blah

    May 25, 2011

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq, Other Ideas

    Though State maintains a warm spot in my heart, for¬†brazen incompetence you just can’t beat USAID, the US Government’s Santa Claus agency abroad. I could write one of these articles daily about how some USAID project in Iraq or Afghanistan wasted money, failed to accomplish anything, failed to appear or was consumed by fraud blah blah blah.

    USAID may not have any actual employees. Most of their people I met in Iraq were contractors, hired by someone at “USAID” to hire an “implementing partner” (middle man) who would hire another contractor to do something such as dig a well in some village. Each layer of the fluffy cake took a cut (most implementing partners sucked off about 30% of any project) so a million dollars thrown out the window of USAID HQ was only $10 and change by the time it hit the ground.

    If you can stomach more details, Google around for the Community Stabilization Program, which ended up redirecting millions of dollars to the insurgents through dummy trash pickup contracts. In my book I chat about some USAID programs in my own area that did little but feed your money to thugs. One program I discuss was so riddled with fraud that the Iraqis who were profiting from the fraud felt compelled to complain.

    But I did want to share a recent report on a USAID failure in Afghanistan with you because:

    a) USAID pulled the report off its web site after someone read it, but of course it is still available elsewhere on the web. Is it USAID alone that does not know the Internet is written in ink?

    b) One of the conclusions of the report as to why this massive fraud occurred was that “The mission did not have a policy requiring its contractors and grantees to report indications of fraud in host-government institutions or possible problems that could reasonably be considered to be of foreign policy interest to USAID and the US Government.”

    That last one is a hoot– with such a contract clause, would fraud go away? Do we really need to contractually obligate US Government contractors to tell us stuff that might be of interest to us, their employers, like people stealing our money?

    Anyway, enjoy reading the whole text of “Review of USAID/Afghanistan’s Bank Supervision Assistance Activities and the
    Kabul Bank Crisis

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