News: US Forces continue to improve management of ANSF funds
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A recent audit by the Special Investigator General for Afghan Reconstruction found that the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) has taken steps to mitigate financial management weaknesses identified at the Ministries of the Interior and Defense and improve its oversight of Direct Assistance Funds.
CSTC-A appreciates SIGAR’s acknowledgement that its processes for managing US direct assistance and international donor funds continue to improve, mature, and evolve as the capabilities of the Afghan government increase. CSTC-A has improved accounting practices, expanded budgetary controls for the execution of funds, set goals for execution rates, and conducted risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities in the Ministries of Finance, Defense and Interior (MOF, MOD and MOI) financial management systems and capabilities.
This year, to provide a broader view of capabilities and risks within the ministries, CSTC-A significantly increased its budgetary controls through the Commitment Letters signed with MOD, MOI and MOF. These agreements enhance transparency, accountability and oversight of international donations by requiring the implementation of transparency measures such as published spend plans, contractor vetting and audits. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) has also committed to implement wider use of automated financial, military pay, and procurement systems to increase accuracy and timeliness of financial and accounting transactions. Finally, GIRoA agreed to participate in training programs to correct deficiencies and build ministerial capabilities. These actions ensure risk assessments are complete and safeguards are in place before CSTC-A provides direct assistance funds to GIRoA.
To sustain long-term growth and development of the financial management functions in GIRoA, CSTC-A continues to work with the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank to implement electronic financial management systems that improve accuracy and visibility of donor funds while reducing the risk of misappropriation, and improving overall transparency.
CSTC-A’s ministerial advising model has also evolved from an individual office-based approach, to a holistic advisory model that measures the effectiveness and performance of the system within each ministry. This transition allows training, advising, and assistance activities to be tailored to better support the entire financial process.
US Forces-Afghanistan and CSTC-A remain committed to being stewards of US taxpayer and international donor funds. While working to develop the professionalism and expertise in the ministries, USFOR-A and CSTC-A will continue to adjust processes in order to curb risks and prevent fraud, waste and abuse.