[JURIST] Democrats in the US Congress will introduce legislation this week to maintain the authority of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) [official website], according to the New York Times Sunday. SIGIR was originally established to independently supervise and investigate operations of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority [official website], and has to date uncovered multiple instances of fraud, bribery, and other legal violations [JURIST reports] by US government officials and government contractors in Iraq. The post is currently set to expire on October 1, 2007 under the terms of Republican-initiated HR 5122. The legislation to be introduced by congressional Democrats is expected to be the first of many inquiries into US dealings in Iraq. The New York Times has more.
The Office of SIGIR was originally established as the Inspector General of the Coalition Provisional Authority [CPA-IG] in November 2003 under the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan [PDF]. It was redesignated "Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction" by an October 2004 amendment [PDF]. This amendment also established a termination clause for the office, to occur ten months after 80% of the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund had been contractually obligated [SIGIR official website]. In October of 2006, HR 5122 reset the termination date as October 2007. Democrats criticized the SIGIR's inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act as an attempt by Republicans to quietly dismantle the post.