The first attempted audit of some 7,000 reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan let by the US government between 2007-09 notes that the US departments of Defense and State, USAID and other agencies are “unable to readily report on how much money they spend on contracting for reconstruction activities” on contracts worth nearly $18 billion during this period.
The auditors had attempted to look at all contracts issued since 2002, but found the records so sparse that they were unable to do this.
The snappily-titled "DOD, State and USAID Obligated over $17.7 Billion to About 7,000 Contractors and Other Entities for Afghanistan Reconstruction During Fiscal Years 2007-2009", published by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, makes no real attempt to audit the contracts, merely to work out how many contracts had been issued and for how much.
In fact, the SIGAR auditors can't even deal just with US contracts, let alone those of other governments and NGOs working in Afghanistan: "There is still no central U.S. government database to track reconstruction projects from the various US agencies and departments, let alone, the international community," said the SIGAR report.
The 45-page report concludes that: "The audit shows that navigating the confusing labyrinth of government contracting is difficult, at best. Within the Defense Department alone, there are four contracting organizations managing DOD-funded reconstruction contracts. The audit found that not only do those four DOD contracting organizations not coordinate and share information with one another, there is minimal sharing of information across government agencies."
Predictably, "a relatively small number of contractors and other entities accounted for the majority of obligations." All the obvious big boys - the Beltway Bandits - are there. As are a number of smaller and more exotic companies. Who, for example, are No Lemon Ltd, which received contracts from the Defense Department worth $95million?
Here's just part of the list, showing USAID contracts. All figures in millions of dollars:
Contracts reported by USAID, FY 2007-FY 2009
Louis Berger International, Inc. $736m
Development Alternatives, Inc. $296m
Chemonics International, Inc. $230M
Bearing Point, Inc. $130m
Association for Rural Development $70m
Deloitte Consulting $60m
Norse Air Charter, Ltd. $48m
Creative Associates International, Inc. $47m
Checchi & Company $42m
International Foundation for Election Systems $37m
Personal services contracts(a) $36m
AECOM International Development $36m
International Relief and Development $34m
Emerging Markets Group $32m
Associates in Rural Development $24m
Advanced Engineering Associates $24m
Constella Futures International $14m
International Resources Group $14m
State University of New York $8m
Al-Haj Abdul Ghafar Ghazanfar Co.Ltd $8m
Rashad Elham Trading Company, Ltd. $8m
Ahham FZCO, Ltd. $6m
Partnership for Child Healthcare $ 6m
PA Government Services, Inc. $6m
Global Strategies Group $6m
Afghanistan Management Group $5m
Descon Holdings, Ltd. $5m
Camp Dresser McKefee International $3m
Aircraft Charter Solutions, Inc. $3m
IO Global Services $2m
QED Group $2m
Protection Devices, Inc. $2m
Lakeshore Engineering Services, Inc. $2m
University Research Company $2m
Bank Alfalah, Ltd. $2m
Macro International $2m
Agility International, Inc. $1m
GW Consulting $1m
Dell Computer $1m
Computer Sciences Corporation $1m
MWH Americas, Inc. $1m