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John Sopko: Spending Audits, Anti-Corruption Efforts to Continue in Afghanistan

John Sopko
John Sopko

John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, has said Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has launched efforts to address corruption involving monopolies and oligarchs that draw off money from U.S. and Afghan contracts, Defense News reported Monday.

Sopko told Defense News reporter Jen Judson in an interview that corruption is one of the problems Afghanistan’s unity government currently faces amid a drawdown in U.S. troops and security challenges in the country.

“One of the things that came out of my meeting with [Ghani] is that we worked out an arrangement where he is going to give my people full access to the Kabul bank records to try to track down the money and recover it for the Afghan government and the Afghan people,” Sopko said.

He told Defense News that his team has begun to conduct financial and program audits of the projects launched by the now-defunct Task Force for Business and Stability Operations within the Defense Department.

TFBSO closed in 2015 five years after it was launched to help Afghanistan in its economic rebuilding efforts.

Sopko noted that his office also plans to carry out an audit of the Kajakai Dam construction project and Promote, an education initiative that the U.S. Agency for International Development launched for Afghan women.

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