$3 Billion 'Wasted' in Iraq - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/31/07 - Washington

$3 Billion 'Wasted' in Iraq

The Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says that 15 percent of all the money the U.S. has spent on Iraq reconstruction has been wasted. (Photo courtesy ABCNews.com) The Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says that 15 percent of all the money the U.S. has spent on Iraq reconstruction has been wasted. (Photo courtesy ABCNews.com)

by David Kerley, ABC News

It was supposed to be a residential housing camp in Baghdad for police trainers. But it's never been used. And all the weapons, vehicles and body armor that were supposed to be there can't be accounted for.

In all, the project added another $80 million of U.S. taxpayer money to the billions believed to have been wasted in Iraq.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, told Congress this month that 15 percent of all the money the United States had spent so far on Iraq reconstruction had been wasted.

The police training program is just the latest example. In SIGR's quarterly report that came out today, Bowen and his staff said the State Department spent nearly $44 million to build trailers and then store them for the residential camp.

But the SIGIR report said the camp "has never been used."

The State Department may have "spent another $36.4 million for weapons and equipment, including armored vehicles, body armor and communications equipment that cannot be accounted for" because of vague paperwork and invoices, according to the report.

The State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs contracted with DynCorp for the facilities and equipment.

A State Department official told ABC News it realized there was a problem with the contract and had started its own investigation. The official said the State Department is now trying to find and clarify invoices for the project, and it is trying to get taxpayers' money back.

The official said the department is making "every effort to recover overpayments and any payments that are inconsistent with the contract terms and conditions."

So far, the United States has spent more than $20 billion on reconstruction. Using Bowen's formula, at least $3 billion has been wasted.

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Posted by R. Smith

Powered by Frankly