Without political will, change will remain elusive, SIGAR said.
The Afghan government has made progress in meeting anti-corruption benchmarks but “serious challenges remain to fighting corruption — resource shortfalls, impunity of powerful individuals, declining activity at corruption courts,” said John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, in a new report released on Thursday.
SIGAR in the report mentioned that without the “political will” to address these challenges, “transformative change” will remain elusive.
The report referenced an anti-corruption strategy that the Afghan government initiated, saying: “SIGAR determined that the Afghan government met 57 of 76 benchmarks, or about 75 percent, due by June 2019.”
It said the international donors and Afghan civil society organizations remained concerned about the strategy’s revisions and implementation as well as offices established to aid transparency:
“Specifically, officials from international donor and civil society organizations we spoke with were concerned about the lack of resources provided to the Access to Information Commission,” the report said.
Other concerns mentioned were: “The lack of clarity about the Deputy Attorney General for Anti-Corruption’s roles and responsibilities” and “the delay in making the Anti-Corruption Commission operational by appointing commissioners.”
A spokesman for President Ghani, Sediq Sediqqi in response to the report in a tweet said: “The Afghan government has been committed to a meaningful anti-corruption campaign. Progress in this regard is measurable.”
President Ghani has been “fully committed” to rooting out corruption in the past five years, Sediqqi said, adding, “his resolve is intact.”
Link to full SIGAR report: https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/audits/SIGAR-20-06-AR.pdf