Grassley wants full audit of Pentagon task force

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is calling for a top-to-bottom audit of a Pentagon task force that has been accused of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.

“I need assurance that all this money was spent in accordance with the law,” Grassley wrote in a letter Friday to Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko.

{mosads}The request comes a day after SIGAR released its latest report on the task force’s projects. The report found the task force spent $215.4 million on mostly unfinished projects to develop Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries. 

The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations was meant to help rebuild the economies of Iraq and Afghanistan. It disbanded in March after spending $766 million of the $822 million Congress appropriated for it.

In addition to the failed mining projects, SIGAR found that the tax force spent $43 million on a compressed natural gas station and $150 million on private villas and security guards.

In his letter, Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote he believes there’s more to be found.

“I believe that exorbitant overhead costs are just the tip of the iceberg,” he wrote. “This task force needs congressional and administration oversight and scrutiny to fully understand how over 800 million taxpayer dollars were spent.”

Grassley previously asked the Pentagon for copies of the all the documents related to the task force’s work in Afghanistan. In a press release about his letter, he said he still hasn’t received the hard drive he asked for, but that SIGAR has.

“SIGAR needs these records to be able to do its job,” Grassley said in the release. “I hope the records are complete so SIGAR can render a complete accounting of the spending and help hold those accountable for wasted money.”

Tags Afghanistan Chuck Grassley

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