In a recent letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley expressed his disapproval of the State Department’s slow response to watchdog complaints about $40 million in questionable aid to Afghanistan.
Grassley called the department’s sluggish response “unacceptable” and emphasized the importance of compliance with rules and regulations when handling taxpayer money.
Grassley pointed out that only $19,000 of the $40 million in questioned aid was found to be allowable by law, and just $191,000 of improperly spent aid is being returned to the government.
The State Department, along with other agencies, has been criticized for wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on Afghanistan reconstruction projects over nearly two decades.
The senator has requested regular updates on the auditing efforts, explanations for the two-year delay, and information on the department’s attempts to recover the improperly spent money.
While the State Department has been generally helpful in addressing old recommendations from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), 14 recommendations still remain unaddressed, potentially putting the department at risk of noncompliance with federal law.