Approximately $126.30 billion has been appropriated for Afghanistan relief and reconstruction since 2002. These funds are used to build the Afghan National Security Forces, promote good governance, conduct development assistance, and engage in counter-narcotics and anti-corruption efforts.
Congress created the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to provide independent and objective oversight of Afghanistan reconstruction projects and activities. Under the authority of Section 1229 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (P.L. 110-181), SIGAR conducts audits and investigations to: 1) promote efficiency and effectiveness of reconstruction programs and 2) detect and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.
John F. Sopko was sworn in as Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction on July 2, 2012. SIGAR is headquartered in Arlington, VA; has an office in Kabul, Afghanistan; and has a field presence in multiple locations throughout Afghanistan.
Audits and Inspections
SIGAR's Audits and Inspections Directorate conducts audits and inspections of reconstruction activities in Afghanistan. These audits are aimed at a wide range of programs and activities to fulfill SIGAR's legislative mandate. They identify problems associated with the United States' reconstruction effort, and make recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
SIGAR's audits range from assessments of program direction to narrower examinations of specific contracts or aspects of contract and program management. SIGAR's inspections are quick-impact assessments to determine whether infrastructure projects have been properly constructed, are being used as intended, and can be sustained. SIGAR also conducts forensic reviews of reconstruction funds managed by the Department of Defense, Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. These forensic reviews identify anomalies that may indicate fraud.
SIGAR's Investigations Directorate conducts criminal and civil investigations relating to programs and operations supported with U.S. reconstruction dollars. It prevents and detects waste, fraud, and abuse through criminal prosecutions, civil actions, forfeitures, monetary recoveries, and suspensions and debarments.
SIGAR's Special Projects team was created to examine emerging issues and deliver prompt, actionable reports to federal agencies and the Congress. The team conducts a variety of assessments, producing reports on all facets of Afghanistan reconstruction. These reports cover a wide range of programs and activities to fulfill SIGAR's legislative mandate and protect taxpayers. The directorate is made up of auditors, analysts, investigators, lawyers, subject-matter experts and other specialists who can quickly and jointly apply their expertise to emerging problems and questions.
Lessons Learned Program
SIGAR's Lessons Learned Program was created to identify and preserve lessons from the U.S. reconstruction experience in Afghanistan, and to make recommendations to Congress and executive agencies on ways to improve our efforts in current and future operations. The team's reports focus on key aspects of the reconstruction effort and document what the U.S. government sought to accomplish, assess what it achieved, and evaluate the degree to which these efforts helped the United States reach its strategic goals in Afghanistan. The directorate is made up of subject matter experts with considerable experience working and living in Afghanistan, aided by a team of experienced research analysts. In producing its reports, the Lessons Learned program also uses the significant skills and experience found in SIGAR's Audits, Investigations, and Research and Analysis Directorates, as well as the Office of Special Projects.
SIGAR submits a Quarterly Report to Congress as required by its enabling legislation. The Quarterly Report to Congress is produced by SIGAR's Research and Analysis Directorate, and summarizes all of SIGAR's audits and investigative activities. The report also provides an overview of reconstruction activities in Afghanistan and includes a detailed statement of all obligations, expenditures, and revenues associated with reconstruction.
SIGAR has offices in Kabul and various other locations throughout Afghanistan. SIGAR's Forward Operations is responsible for all SIGAR personnel in Afghanistan. SIGAR deploys auditors, inspectors, and investigations on long-term tours to Afghanistan. SIGAR also regularly sends auditors, inspectors, and investigators from its Arlington, VA., headquarters to oversee various aspects of the reconstruction in Afghanistan.