In reaction to the return of approximately USD 100 million to U.S. treasury, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) blamed previous management of Afghanistan power supply firm, DABS, for the loss of fund for a large power project in Afghanistan.
“It is unfortunate that $100 million has been lost due to the delays in the implementation and lack of enough capacity in previous DABS management,” part of the statement read.
The US Department of State announced on September 19 that the US government was returning approximately USD 100 million to the US Treasury due to identified Afghan government corruption and financial mismanagement.
“We will be withholding $60 million in planned assistance due to the government’s failure to meet benchmarks for transparency and accountability in public financial management,” the State Department further said.
The MoF, however, said that the mentioned power project that the amount was withdrawn from is an “off-budget” project.
It also noted that the decision on the withdrawal of the USD 100 million was made in February 2018 and the MoF and DABS were already informed about it.
The ministry, meanwhile, stated that the Afghan government has been working closely with the State Department and USAID, a partnership it deeply values, for the last several years on improving capacities, transparency, and efficiency mechanisms.
Separately, the Afghan government is aggressively increasing oversight of the types of large-scale infrastructure projects envisioned under both the national budget and through international funding to improve implementation timelines and hold accountable parties responsible for delays and mismanagement of these critical efforts, the ministry added.
The MoF also called for more support of the international community to further improve Afghanistan’s public financial management systems.