Inspector General: Millions in Auto Parts Missing in Afghanistan

Image: Inspector General: Millions in Auto Parts Missing in Afghanistan A convoy of Hummer H1 vehicles in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 12:04 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A U.S.-led international group has spent $368 million for spare auto parts for the Afghan National Army and other agencies, only to have most of the supplies either go missing or end up unused and stacked in warehouses, according to a government inspector.

The Washington Times reported Thursday that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the top U.S. watchdog in country, found that the Combined Security Transition Command first spent $230 million on the spare parts over time, then turned around and spent $138 million more when the first orders went missing. The second batch is now being warehoused because most of the parts aren't needed.

The total spent between 2004 and 2012 came to $368 million, the Times reported.

"The Combined Security Transition Command is placing orders for vehicle spare parts without accurate information on what parts are needed or are already in stock," the inspector general report said.

The report also noted the lack of a full inventory of what parts were available, before other orders were made. It also noted that few records are being kept about what parts are needed or most in demand in specific areas.

Officials with the transition command said they would stop buying all nonessential parts until a full inventory can be made. The coalition is in Afghanistan to help train Afghan security forces, and has been reducing the number of parts it says it needs.

Part of the problem stemmed from the Afghan military's poor job in tracking the inventory, even though it is required to do a complete wall-to-wall inventory inspection at least once each year, reports Stars and Stripes.

The inspector general commended the transition command for taking control of the problem even before its investigation was complete. Beginning in June, the group started taking all spare parts destined for the Afghan military to a transfer point so they could be documented.

The Afghan military and the transition command are also collaborating on an inventory, reports Stars and Stripes, and the U.S. group is trying to take back spare parts that were handed out prematurely.

But the inspector general's report expressed concern that plans to turn over purchasing power for parts to the Afghan military may be premature, the Times reported, given the fact that a backlog of parts already exists and that another planned delivery of $12 million in additional supplies is already in the works.

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