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US investigators unable to account for $1.2B in Iraqi police training funds

[JURIST] The US State Department cannot account for most of the $1.2 billion that it paid to a private contractor hired to train Iraqi police forces, according to an interim review report [PDF text; US State Department press briefing] from the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) [official website] released Tuesday. DynCorp International [corporate website] was contracted by the Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) [official website] in February 2004 to provide housing, security, and training support systems for the Iraqi civilian police training program. SIGIR's report said that DynCorp invoices and documents submitted to INL auditors were in "disarray" and had not been validated for accuracy prior to October 2006, and that

As a result, INL does not know specifically what it received for most of the $1.2 billion in expenditures under its DynCorp contract for the Iraqi Police Training Program. INL's prior lack of controls created an environment vulnerable to waste and fraud.
Auditors reported double billings, payments for expensive equipment that was never used - such as one $1.8 million X-ray scanner - and almost $400,000 in hotel costs for DynCorp officials. The report said that SIGIR will suspend the audit as INL increases its staff and gathers more concrete figures. CNN has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

In March, SIGIR chief Stuart Bowen told the US Senate Judiciary Committee that investigators would apply stricter standards [JURIST report] when dealing with companies performing contract work in Iraq. At the time of his testimony, 16 people had been convicted for fraud and kickbacks received in connection with the US-supported Iraq reconstruction effort.

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