Audit: Afghanistan contractors misused money on salaries, luxury cars

By Stephen Carlson  |  Aug. 9, 2017 at 4:50 PM
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Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A government audit found that a contractor responsible for training intelligence officers in Afghanistan spent money on luxury cars and paid six-figure salaries to employees' significant others who did little work.

The findings came out of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction quarterly report on the Legacy East intelligence program and have drawn the attention of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

U.K.-based contractor New Century Consulting charged the U.S. government for high-end vehicles like Alfa Romeos and Bentleys used by senior executives, SIGAR said in its July report.

At the same time, the firm was paying large sums to employees' significant others as executive assistants with little evidence they provided any work.

In a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, McCaskill called for the termination of whoever authorized the spending and questioned the lack of oversight of the program.

"Whoever approved of this spending should be fired," McCaskill said in a statement.

"I'm going to get to the bottom of what happened with this contract and why a company with so many previous problems keeps getting contracts."

NCC received the work through a subcontract from Imperius, which is now defunct, before taking over the program.

SIGAR found that there was little evidence that NCC and Imperitas had made any significant difference for the intelligence programs of the Afghan Ministry of Defense, despite $536.1 million spent from 2010 to 2013. Faulty or non-existent training records make establishing the program's efficacy difficult, SIGAR said.

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