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|Why a Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction?||To whom does the Inspector General report?|
|Why the dual-reporting arrangements to State and Defense?||What is SIGIR's level of independence?|
|What are SIGIR's auditing responsibilities?||What powers and corrective measures are at the IG's disposal?|
|What is the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI)?||What are seized, vested, and donor funds?|
|What is the SIGIR definition of 'Obligated' and 'Expended,' and its affect on the longevity of SIGIR oversight?|
|What is the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF)?|
When the U.S. Congress appropriated funds for Iraq relief and reconstruction, it also passed legislation to create a specialized Inspector General to provide accountability for the use of these funds.
Public Law 108-106, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, 2004, appropriated $18 billion for the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF). To oversee the handling and treatment of these funds by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), this law also established the Inspector General of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA-IG)to provide for the independent and objective conduct and supervision of audits and investigations relating to the CPA's programs and operations.
The law provided for the independent and objective leadership and coordination of, and recommendations on, policies designed to:
Furthermore, the CPA-IG was to provide for an independent and objective means of keeping the head of the CPA fully and currently informed about problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of such programs and operations, and the necessity for and progress of corrective action.
Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. was appointed as CPA-IG on January 20, 2004. He established a staff of auditors, investigators and admin support at offices in both Baghdad, Iraq and Washington, D.C., CPA-IG audits and investigations began in March 2004, and the CPA-IG provided his first Quarterly Report to Congress on March 31, 2004.
However, the decision of the nations of the Coalition to transition governance authority to the Iraqis by June 28, 2004, triggered a provision of the law calling for the CPA-IG to terminate six months after the authorities of the CPA cease to exist. Disestablishment of the new CPA-IG on December 28, 2004, would have ended specific oversight of funds appropriated for Iraq relief and reconstruction long before most of these funds were spent.
Congress acted to maintain oversight, creating a successor to CPA-IG through Public Law 108-375 (The Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, enacted October 29, 2004). This amended P.L. 108-106 to re-designate the CPA-IG as Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), and modified its authorities to provide for independent and objective oversight of the operations and programs under the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF).
Stuart W. Bowen Jr. continues to serve as SIGIR's IG with auditors, investigators and staff operating in Iraq and Washington, D.C.
The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction reports directly to Congress, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense. The dual-reporting arrangement to both Secretaries recognizes the joint responsibilities of these two cabinet directorates for Iraq reconstruction.
In addition, SIGIR provides reports directly to the Congress as provided in the office's founding statutes (Public Law 108-106 and pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978).
By reporting directly to State and Defense, SIGIR is able to have independent oversight of the major government organizations involved in Iraq reconstruction.
The authorities and responsibilities provided in the law are to ensure that SIGIR has independence, both in fact and appearance, so that there is no impairment of SIGIR's objectivity. This includes the statutory independence provided under the Inspector General Act of 1978, intended to ensure the integrity and objectivity IG activities. The IG Act of 1978, as amended, authorizes Inspectors General to:
In addition, P.L. 108-106, as amended, has two specific requirements related to independence:
SIGIR focuses on money appropriated by the U.S. Congress for relief and reconstruction of Iraq, specifically the $18.4 billion set-aside for IRRF in the 2004 Supplemental Appropriation. SIGIR audits may encompass the oversight and accounting of the funds, and the reconstruction activities the funds support, as well as related contracts, transfers, and records.
The predecessor CPA-IG was required to also oversee $2.4 billion in the 2003 Supplemental Appropriation (Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund) as well as to report on the use of seized, vested, and donor funds utilized in Iraq relief and reconstruction. Audits and work products of CPA-IG related to these funds may be released by SIGIR.
Audit subjects are selected according to the Strategic Audit Plan which covers SIGIR priorities for 2009-2011.
Following an investigation, SIGIR informs the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense of significant problems, abuses, deficiencies, and recommends and follows the progress of corrective actions and implementation measures. In accordance with the Inspector General Act of 1978, Section 4(d), SIGIR shall notify the Department of Justice and seek prosecutive opinion whenever evidence of a federal crime is found.
The DFI provided the central operating budget of the CPA-overseen by Iraqi Governing Council and Ministries. DFI funds were also used to pay public sector salaries and to compensate families for the loss of members and property as a result of the actions of coalition forces. The CPA-appointed Program Review Board (PRB) approved DFI expenditures, and the UN-appointed International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) is charged with auditing the DFI.
The DFI is funded by continuing revenues from Iraqi oil sales, and has been supplemented by seized, vested, and donor funds.
After the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq on June 28, 2004, jurisdiction over the DFI was transferred to the Iraqi Interim Government.
Seized funds are cash and property confiscated by coalition forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Vested assets are those frozen by Presidential Executive Order and vested with the U.S. Department of Treasury for return to Iraq. Donor funds are those committed or pledged by nations to the U.N. World Bank Trust Fund and other measures of humanitarian aid.
IRRF was established by the U.S. Congress on November 6, 2003, to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, which was damaged from years of neglect, sanctions, and war. The $2.4 Billion IRRF was set up in the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act - 2003, P.L. 108-11 (149KB PDF).
IRRF 2 is funded with $18.6 Billion ($18.4 Billion after subtracting $210 Million fund assistance for Jordan, Liberia, and Sudan) in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan - 2004, P.L. 108-106. (23KB PDF)
In 2005, an amendment was proposed during Senate consideration of the House-passed Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2006 (H.R. 3057) (12KB PDF) to extend the duration of SIGIR oversight. This measure would again amend P.L. 108-106 (214KB PDF) to modify the SIGIR termination clause to base it upon IRRF expenditures, instead of obligations. This language directs the termination of SIGIR ten months after 80% of the IRRF has been expended.