SAO findings show that government lost billions by failing to fulfill some World Bank stipulations.
Govt ‘Lost’ 70bn AFs In Aid In Last Fiscal Year
Officials from the Supreme Audit Office (SAO) said Saturday that in the last fiscal year the National Unity Government (NUG) lost 70 billion AFs in aid as it failed to fulfill a number of World Bank indicators and implement some development projects in the country.
SAO delivered its report on Saturday on the last fiscal year and said 194 development projects made no progress in this time and 155 other projects, that wereimplemented, are only 50 percent complete.
According to SAO officials, last year, in addition to a decrease in World Bank support to Afghanistan, the Afghan finance ministry failed to hand over 3,4 billion AFs to the central bank.
“When we asked the Da Afghanistan Central Bank how much money they received to cover its deficit, they said they had not received any money for this purpose,” Sayed Mohammad Mahdi Hussaini, deputy head of the Supreme Audit Office said.
SAO also highlighted the lack of transparency and unaccountability over the money spent by the Dispute Resolution Committee and the Ulema Council.
According to SAO, over 200,000 million AFs was given to these two departments, but there is no records of how the money was spent.
The SAO report also says there are no records for 290 million AFs allocated for security, logistics and accommodation for Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the establishment of offices for his party in the country.
“The finance minister said that it should be processed and spent based on the procurement law. Also, a presidential decree said that the procurement law should be respected in this regard. But when we asked for the documents, we did not receive any documents that stated how the money had been spent and also if it had been processed based on the procurement law,” said Hussaini.
Other queries raised in the SAO report state that some money was allocated to departments for operational purposes when they should not have received funding; also 900 million AFs was paid from money allocated for teachers’ salaries but was paid out as bonuses; 13 million AFs was also spent by a delegation from a non-government department to visit the US.
The Ministry of Finance meanwhile said they have documents and proof for all money spent and also for any changes made to the national budget.
“The finance ministry with respect to SAO says that in some cases they (SAO) did not have accurate information. The finance ministry is accountable for every single Afghani being spent from government’s treasury. We have the complete information and documents for all the expenditures and changes that we bring in the national budget,” Shamroz Khan Masjidi, finance ministry spokesman said.