report was released on the same day that the
Coalition Provisional Authority's inspector
general issued three reports that highlighted
serious management difficulties at the authority,
which dissolved Monday with the transfer of
power to the interim Iraqi government.
reports found that the authority wasted millions
of dollars at a Hilton resort hotel in Kuwait,
because it didn't have written guidelines
for who could stay there and lost track of
how many employees it had. It also didn't
track reconstruction projects funded by international
donors to ensure they didn't duplicate what
the United States was doing.
reports also said that the authority was seriously
understaffed for the gargantuan task of rebuilding
Iraq. The GAO report suggested the agency
needed three times more employees than it
had. The authority report put its number of
employees at 1,196, when it was authorized
to have 2,117. But the inspector general said
the coalition's records were so disorganized
that it couldn't verify its actual number
Comptroller General David Walker blamed insurgent
attacks for many of the problems.
unstable security environment has served to
slow down our rebuilding and reconstruction
efforts and it's going to be of critical importance
to provide more stable security," Walker said
in a telephone interview Tuesday.
GAO report is the first government assessment
of conditions in Iraq at the end of the U.S.
occupation, outlining what it called "key
challenges that will affect the political
transition" in 10 specific areas.
report said the GAO gave a draft of the report
to several government agencies but that only
the Coalition Provisional Authority offered
a major comment. The authority said the report
"was not sufficiently critical of the judicial
Singer, a national security scholar at the
centrist Brookings Institution, said one of
the biggest problems is that despite the availability
of reconstruction funds, not much has been
spent. The GAO report shows that very little
of the promised international funds -- most
of which are in loans -- has been spent and
that some of it can't be tracked. The Coalition
Provisional Authority's inspector general
found the same thing.
Susens, a spokesman for the Program Management
Office, which oversees contractors rebuilding
Iraq, conceded that many areas of Iraq have
fewer hours of electricity than they did before
the war. But he said the report, based on
data now more than a month old, understates
current electrical production and that some
areas may have seen a reduced availability
of electricity because antiquated distribution
systems had been taken out of service so they
could be rebuilt.
a slow pace, but it's certainly growing,"
Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense
policy studies at the conservative American
Enterprise Institute, said other issues are
more important than the provision of electricity.
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