July 3, 2022

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Afghanistan Reconstruction: GAO Work since 2002 Shows Systemic Internal Control Weaknesses that Increased the Risk of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

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<div>What GAO Found GAO's body of work on Afghanistan reconstruction from 2002 through 2020 identified systemic weaknesses in human resources, monitoring, contracting, information quality, coordination, and other management areas where internal control issues could increase the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. These systemic weaknesses cut across multiple sectors of reconstruction activities, such as security, roads and infrastructure, and agriculture. Fifty GAO reports on Afghanistan reconstruction discussed such weaknesses and explicitly or implicitly referred to an increased risk of waste, fraud, or abuse as a result of the weaknesses. GAO made 154 recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, of which 134, or 87 percent, were implemented. Why GAO Did This Study The U.S. government has allocated approximately $141 billion for reconstruction in Afghanistan since 2002. Since that time, GAO has issued roughly 100 reports covering U.S.-funded reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. GAO was asked to report on waste, fraud, and abuse that GAO had uncovered with respect to U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. This report summarizes the systemic internal control weaknesses that increased the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse related to Afghanistan reconstruction that were identified in prior GAO work.</div>
What GAO Found

GAO’s body of work on Afghanistan reconstruction from 2002 through 2020 identified systemic weaknesses in human resources, monitoring, contracting, information quality, coordination, and other management areas where internal control issues could increase the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. These systemic weaknesses cut across multiple sectors of reconstruction activities, such as security, roads and infrastructure, and agriculture. Fifty GAO reports on Afghanistan reconstruction discussed such weaknesses and explicitly or implicitly referred to an increased risk of waste, fraud, or abuse as a result of the weaknesses. GAO made 154 recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, of which 134, or 87 percent, were implemented.

Why GAO Did This Study

The U.S. government has allocated approximately $141 billion for reconstruction in Afghanistan since 2002. Since that time, GAO has issued roughly 100 reports covering U.S.-funded reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. GAO was asked to report on waste, fraud, and abuse that GAO had uncovered with respect to U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. This report summarizes the systemic internal control weaknesses that increased the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse related to Afghanistan reconstruction that were identified in prior GAO work.

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