In the first hearing of the year for the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, Chairman Jason Chaffetz continued his efforts to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars spent in Afghanistan. Today's hearing focused on the lack of transparency and accountability for billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars spent by the Defense Department (DOD) to supply the Afghan National Army with petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL).
"American taxpayers deserve better," said Chaffetz. "Even as our troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan, our financial commitment to the region is far from over. The DOD appears unable to account for hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars already spent on assisting and rebuilding Afghanistan. And they are planning to spend billions more in coming years. This is totally unacceptable. The Obama Administration needs to be held accountable."
Last month, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released a final audit report citing waste, fraud, abuse, and still missing documents in DOD's POL assistance program in Afghanistan. During today's hearing SIGAR John Sopko testified that direct assistance to the Afghan government with a lack of accountability, "increases the risk that U.S. funds and fuel will be stolen."
"SIGAR's testimony and report confirms the need for continued oversight and legislation. We can't keep gambling away taxpayer dollars," said Chaffetz.
In an effort to provide oversight, Chaffetz introduced H.R. 327, the Accountability of Taxpayer Funding for Afghanistan Fuels Act of 2013. This bipartisan legislation will provide strict oversight and accountability of the DOD's POL procurement and delivery program.
View full text of Chaffetz' opening statement here.
View full text of H.R. 327 here.