Friday, December 15, 2006

SIGIR Saved....For Now

Though not yet officially in the majority, the Democrats have already started their campaign to reform Iraq-related legislation. Late last week, the House and Senate passed a bill extending the life of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) through to 2008, giving it the authority to examine the $32 billion spent on reconstruction. The New York Times reports that Bush is likely to sign the bill. This is great news. EPIC has long been an active proponent of the work SIGIR has done.

Since its inception in 2004, SIGIR has saved US taxpayers approximately $405.1 million and its investigations have led to several convictions of American occupation officials on bribery charges. Its latest report, published in October, which I discussed extensively in an earlier blog posting, provided a detailed analysis of what progress has been made on the ground and where the most significant problems lie. SIGIR’s investigations of Halliburton alone uncovered tens of millions of dollars of wasted funds and found that the company has been exploiting a federal loophole to keep its activities in Iraq confidential.

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