Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Iraq gives amnesty to 2 U.S. corruption suspects

Law stymies USAID cases

By Jim McElhatton The Washington Times

Federal investigators were stymied in two separate probes to uncover corruption involving U.S. aid to Iraq, thanks to an Iraqi amnesty law that allowed the suspects to avoid justice.

The Iraqi suspect in one case was at the center of a bid-rigging scandal tied to more than $750,000 in contracts to supply tents in the country’s Anbar province, according to newly released records.

But after investigators obtained a confession, the suspect “was released due to an Iraqi amnesty program for those committing non-violent offenses prior to February 27, 2008,” according to a 2008 case memo by the office of inspector general for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), an independent federal agency that doles out foreign aid.

In the second case, also in 2008, the inspector general for USAID spent more than 18 months looking into accusations from a confidential source that a USAID contractor was taking kickbacks to foreign-owned subcontractors.

The investigative reports were among 29 case summaries recently released by USAID‘s inspector general to The Washington Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Though investigators uncovered evidence that an Iraqi national had fabricated invoices on the U.S.-taxpayer-funded contract for more than $25,000, the suspect wasn’t arrested.

“Based on the nature of the offense involved in this investigation and consultation with Iraqi judicial and law enforcement authorities, the suspect … falls under the General Amnesty Law,” the USAID inspector general concluded in a case memo.

Please read the full story here

September 22, 2010 - Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Iraq, State Department, USAID | , , , , , ,

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