The USA governemnt has again freed the Iraqi people, only this time from their own oil money that was set aside to help rebuild the war torn nation.
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An audit has discovered the U.S. Defense Department can't properly account for how it spent about 95 per cent of $9.1billion in Iraqi oil money earmarked for rebuilding the war-ravaged country.
The U.S. Special Investigator for Iraq Reconstruction report released today said there was shoddy record keeping and a lack of oversight of the $8.7billion. The Pentagon cannot account at all for $2.6billion spent between 2004 and 2007.
The audit cited a number of factors that contributed to the inability to account for most of the money withdrawn by the Pentagon from the Development Fund for Iraq. It said most of the Defense Department organisations that received DFI money failed to set up Treasury Department accounts, as required.
In addition, it said no Defense Department organisation was designated as the main body to oversee how the funds were accounted for or spent.
'The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss,' the report said.
The audit found that the U.S. continues to hold about $34.3million of the money even though it was required to return it to the Iraqi government. It did not indicate that investigators believed there were any instances of fraud involved in the spending of these funds.
The money comes from the Development Fund for Iraq, set up in 2004 by the U.N. Security Council and comprised of oil revenues, Iraqi assets frozen before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and funds from the Saddam Hussein-era oil-for-food program.
With the establishment of the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq shortly after the start of the U.S. invasion in 2003 until mid-2004, about $20billion was placed into the account.
The funds are separate from the $53billion allocated by U.S. Congress for rebuilding Iraq.
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