Bowen, the inspector general for Iraq's reconstruction, points out that of 136 water resources projects only 49 will be completed and of 425 electrical use projects only 300 will be completed.
Strategy changes (mostly security-related) have had a large impact on rebuilding Iraq, but so has the vanishing of funds.
From an audit by the inspector general's office, untold sums of cash meant for rebuilding Iraq went to fund private interests.
The coalition offices in Hillah were found to have stacks of $100 bills taken from the central vault without anyone's knowledge or authority. A United States agent kept $680,000 cash, and one soldier spent $60,000 or more in cash at a casino in the Philippines.
Tens of millions in cash left the vault without a trace, the general concludes. Auditors found no evidence that $23 million in cash found its way to the vault from Iraq's oil revenue.
Other data reveals wasted spending on contract work: $663,000 was spent on an elevator which broke from its wires (at a hospital) and killed its occupants; $108,000 was spent on a swimming pool pump, which didn't work; and $572,000 cash was listed as overpaid funds.
While the report didn't name contractors or officials, two agents responsible for paying contractors left Iraq with $1.4 million cash without paying the workers.
Of $23 million of contract labor produced... only $6 million had been paid to date. One contractor was mistakenly overpaid four times for the same $14,000 bill. Two million dollars was missing from the Hillah police academy.
The inspector general charges that United States federal employees wasted $1.8 million on a library restoration in Karbala. The library's general contractor was paid for 68 computers plus network installation, but only delivered 18 computers without connectivity.
An agent of the United States government stole $100,000 cash from another federal agent's vault in order to balance his own debt.
The objective of the audit was to "determine the effectiveness of U.S. agencies in carrying out plans for Iraq reconstruction activities, and to identify the reason if any for the changes in plans."
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