Statement from the Afghan Ministry of Finance on the SIGAR Ministerial Assessment Report

February 2, 2014

The Ministry of Finance strongly rejects the assessment of the recent Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Ministerial Assessment Report, based on facts and assessments of the Afghanistan PFM systems by independent and more professional, responsible and reputable organizations.

The 2012 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) carried out by the World Bank ranks Afghanistan’s PFM systems higher than any least developed countries and developing countries and on-par with middle-income countries. The International Budget Partnership’s 2012 ranks Afghanistan’s budgetary system the 2nd most open budget in South Asia, 4th in Asia and 26th in the world under the Open Budget Index (OBI) survey.

The SIGAR audit does not identify a single instance of waste, fraud, or abuse of USAID’s direct assistance program through the budget. Furthermore, Mr. Spoko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) consistently misrepresents facts for media attention. He has been challenged based on facts before and has been invited for an open debate or a discussion on all his self-serving accusations but has failed to respond. The Ministry of Finance and the Government of Afghanistan, therefore, don't take anything that comes from SIGAR seriously. The noise created by SIGAR is clearly aimed at media attention and self-aggrandization.