A large-scale research project was thus planned and conducted from March to August 2010. This research included a deep probe into the media sector and the public’s behaviors and expectations. The methodology used to achieved this included a combination of: literature review; direct observations; key informant interviews with most relevant actors involved in the media sector; 6,648 close-ended interviews in more than 900 towns and villages of 106 districts, covering all 34 provinces of the country; an audience survey on more than 1,500 individuals run daily for a week; about 200 qualitative, openended interviews; and 10 community case studies. Such an effort guarantees that results presented here are fairly representative of the Afghan population at large.
Our assessment of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) disclosed that the financial management systems and procedures of the MoF and DAB are adequate for purposes of accounting for and managing funds that may be provided directly to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) by USAID. With regard to the Control and Audit Office (CAO), our review disclosed that the CAO has limited capacity to audit donor funds. This limitation, however, could be sufficiently mitigated by providing technical assistance to the CAO and through USAID/Afghanistan’s direct contracting for audit services as well as in-house Financial reviews performed by USAID/Afghanistan staff or RIG-approved audit firms.
In May 2011, the USAID Office of the Inspector General published a report on the agency’s supervision and oversight of assistance activities in Afghanistan and the Kabul Bank crisis. This report was quickly withdrawn and the Federation of American Scientists’ Steven Aftergood quoted a USAID official as saying that “At the time our report was issued, it was written utilizing information from non-classified sources. After our report had been issued, USAID subsequently classified two documents that were cited in our report. This action resulted in the report becoming classified and we removed it from the web site.” Now that an “Unclassified” version of the report has been released, a comparison of the two versions reveals the “classified” portions of the report that were concealed by USAID. These sections of the report indicate that a material loss review was commissioned by USAID/Afghanistan and completed in May 2010 indicating that $850 million, or 94 percent of the value of the bank’s outstanding loans, had been fraudulently diverted to “insiders” connected with the bank. The concealed sections also indicate that Deloitte and Da Afghanistan Bank failed to provide this report to USAID for nearly six months.
Dubai real estate led depositors to rush to withdraw funds from Kabul Bank, the largest bank in Afghanistan. According to the Report of Kabul Bank in Conservatorship dated October 30, 2010, cited in a draft material loss review commissioned by USAID/Afghanistan, fraudulent loans were used to divert $850 million to insiders. This amount reportedly represented 94 percent of the bank’s outstanding loans.