Audit finds Afghan anticorruption unit ineffective

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2009 4:19 PM

A U.S. government watchdog says the organization created to spearhead Afghanistan's battle against corruption has too little authority, independence and personnel to be effective.

In an audit released Wednesday, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction says the leaders of the country's High Office of Oversight have conflicts of interest because they also serve as advisers to President Hamid Karzai.

The audit said that in addition to being understaffed, many of the anticorruption office's employees are inexperienced or lack basic skills such as computer use and information gathering.

The Afghan office was created in July 2008. Karzai is under international pressure to stamp out government bribery and graft.