The Afghan government does not know how many people work for its national police force, U.S. auditors have found. The “lax recordkeeping opens potential for fraud,” according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction agency, The Washington Post
The agency’s audit discovered a 10 percent difference in records and databases maintained by the Ministry of Interior resulting in a police force with members ranging from 111,774 to 125,218 personnel. The United States provides much of the funding for the police force, the Post reported.
The ministry uses four methods to keep track of those working for the Afghan National Police, a key part of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. Without a centralized system, there is no way to tell where payroll money is going, according to the Post report.
Herbert Richardson, the acting head of the reconstruction agency, said that “means you can have ghost employees. It means you can have AWOL employees. It means you can have individuals who are under multiple names collecting paychecks, and there’s no way to account for it,” the Post reported.
Since 2002, the United States has provided $545 million for Afghan police salaries. In total, the United States has spent $29 billion on the Afghan National Security Forces, according to the Post.
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