DAI Dismisses USAID Report on Afghan Aid Misuse

Development contracting firm DAI “sharply criticized” a report by the U.S. Agency for International Development suggesting that its subcontractors used USAID funds to pay the Taliban for protection, GlobalPost’s Jean MacKenzie says.

The report by USAID Regional Inspector General/Manila revealed that DAI subcontractors may have “misused USAID funds to pay off Taliban insurgents in remote and insecure Taliban strongholds.”

>> Review Finds Possible USAID Funding Misuse by DAI Subcontractors

In an internal memo obtained by GlobalPost, DAI President and Chief Executive Officer James Boomgard dismissed the USAID report as “largely circumstantial, speculative, and unsubstantiated,” according to MacKenzie.

Boomgard scorned “the degree of equivocation and qualification” in many of USAID assessments, MacKenzie adds.

Boomgard, however, was compelled to admit that there were areas DAI could not adequately monitor its projects nor ensure that U.S. aid money did not end up in the hands of insurgents, according to MacKenzie.

“The question for our critics and for anyone serious about executing U.S. policy in Afghanistan is whether it would be worth giving up on all such projects just because we cannot provide assurance — to an auditor’s satisfaction — that not a penny of U.S. funds is reaching undesirable elements,” Boomgard said.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.