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Jan 11, 2011

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Jorge

Interesting, but let's cut to the chase: how about just sending in some criminal investigators, e.g., FBI special agents? So much of what goes on in Afgh. contracting is, on its face, fraudulent (by the contractors) or criminally negligent (USG's technical oversight and contract administration). We could skip lots of the administrative phase of auditors. You don't need their work to make the criminal cases. As for the corrupt Afghani individuals and companies--they will be out of reach for the usual reasons.

Vance Jochim

The most obvious choice would be to MERGE SIGAR with SIGIR (Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction) and let the very effective head of SIGIR, Stuart Bowen, who Congress respects, run the combined operation, while broadening their authority to cover reconstruction AND foreign aid provided to any country in the lower half of the Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index. (See info on SIGIR at SIGIR.mil and Transparency.org is TI's site).

The next choice would be a the most respected existing PROFESSIONAL IG in the US (some are not very good), or a senior leader out of GAO (Maybe David Walker would come back for that?)

Or, choose the Senior General Auditor from a Fortune 500 contracting or manufacturing firm.

And if none of them want it, then I am the next choice!

Cheers,
Vance

Jake Wiens

Hey Vance, thank you for your comment. Do you have any nominees in mind for SIGAR?

Anyone else have ideas for a tough and aggressive SIGAR candidate?

Vance Jochim

I have been writing a blog on Corruption in Iraq (where I first met Arnie Fields) and Afghanistan, and have been critical of SIGAR. ( see http://webworks.typepad.com/corruption_in_iraq/ or the parent website at www.fiscalrangers.com ) In Iraq from 2004-2006, I was the Chief Auditor for the group that setup the Iraqi anti-corruption agency, and knew Arnie from his position in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office. Later when he was appointed head of SIGAR, I sent him a plan of action for it, but it was ignored and he went with all GAO staff, and Arnie took forever to actually get audits up and running. I had told him he had little time because the separate SIGIR (for Iraq) had a good track record and had set expectations. Too bad. Arnie was a nice administrative type, but not the hard bitten prosecutor or internal auditor that is needed. The problems I now see are that President Obama will choose another person, and he has a bad track record of supporting IG's. Instead, he has fired a couple because they issued reports about problems caused by Obama supporters. But, since Congress is now Republican and approves budgets for SIGAR, they might set tougher standards. It is in everyone's interest to actually find, detect and prevent corruption, but they keep putting amateurs into the positions. Instead of an attorney or General, they need a hard bitten auditor from industry who understands NON FEDERAL contracts and construction who can deal with foreign systems. Or, they should appoint an existing IG with a hard results track record (not a CPA, but a CFE or Certified Internal Auditor).

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