Thursday, June 17, 2010

Afghanistan: USAID contractor terminates 10 employees over alleged kickbacks

This week in Kabul, Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) terminated 10 employees including several engineers and other staff members after months of investigation. DAI Afghanistan is a contractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

USAID Inspector General Donald Gambatesa stated that the investigation involves Afghan staff members who allegedly approached owners of various companies bidding for subcontracts with DAI Afghanistan. The individuals reportedly offered to help the companies win awards in exchange for a percentage of the total dollar value of the project.

DAI Afghanistan has been implementing USAID's Local Governance and Community Development Project in 23 provinces since 2006 at a projected cost of $349 million. The objective of the project is to assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan encourage local communities to take an active role in their stability and development, and address causes of instability and support for the insurgency.

This multiagency investigative effort has included USAID's Office of Inspector General and other members of the International Contract Corruption Task Force, including the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the local Afghanistan Prosecutor's Office and the Afghanistan Major Crimes Task Force. The International Contract Corruption Task Force is a joint law enforcement agency task force that seeks to detect, investigate, and dismantle corruption and contract fraud resulting from U.S. Overseas Contingency Operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait.

USAID's Office of Inspector General will recommend that the terminated employees be debarred from future Government contracts.

Source: U.S. Agency for International Development