Corruption Hurts Many Parts of Afghanistan’s Development: SIGAR

The Afghan government has made progress in meeting anti-corruption benchmarks but “serious challenges remain to fighting corruption — resource shortfalls, impunity of powerful individuals, declining activity at corruption courts,” said John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, in a new report released on Thursday.

SIGAR in the report mentioned that without the political will to address
these challenges, including resource shortfalls at anti-corruption institutions,
the seeming impunity of powerful individuals, and declining activity at the
corruption courts, transformative change will remain elusive.

The report referenced an anti-corruption strategy that the Afghan government initiated, saying: “SIGAR determined that the Afghan government met 57 of 76 benchmarks, or about 75 percent, due by June 2019.
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It said the International donors and Afghan civil society organizations remained
concerned about the strategy’s revisions and implementation; Specifically,
officials from international donor and civil society organizations we spoke
with were concerned about the lack of resources provided to the Access to
Information Commission, the creation of multiple benchmarks for the
establishment of the Palace Ombudsman, the lack of clarity about the
Deputy Attorney General for Anti-Corruption’s roles and responsibilities, and
the delay in making the Anti-Corruption Commission operational by appointing commissioners.

SIGAR found that the Afghan government met some of the anti-corruption benchmarks contained in the
Afghanistan Compact, a mechanism for compiling the Afghan government’s
commitments and monitoring their implementation.”SIGAR’s May 2018 audit report contained six matters for consideration for
the Afghan government that would increase the efficacy of its anti-corruption
efforts. Of the six matters, the Afghan government concurred or partially
concurred with all but one,” the report reads.

“Despite this progress, the Afghan government continued to face significant
challenges fighting corruption and its key anti-corruption institutions,” the report added.

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