Management Improvements Needed in Commander's Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ALEXANDRIA VA OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
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The objective of the audit was to determine whether controls over the Commanders Emergency Response Program CERP payments made to support Afghanistan operations were adequate. Specifically, we reviewed the controls to ensure that contract payments were proper and that complete, accurate, and meaningful data were reported to the decisionmakers responsible for managing CERP. U.S. Forces-Afghanistan USFOR-A processed more than 8,509 CERP payment transactions, totaling 486 million, between October 2008 and February 2010. U.S. Central Command USCENTCOM and USFOR-A controls over CERP contract payments and reporting were not adequate. Specifically, for CERP payments made between October 2008 and February 2010, USCENTCOM and USFOR-A did not do the following maintain and report reliable and meaningful CERP data for 6,157 of 8,509 CERP payments deobligate at least 16.7 million of unused CERP project funds for 108 closed or terminated CERP projects identify or prevent 1.7 million of improper payments on 13 CERP projects identify or prevent at least 30 unauthorized advance payments, totaling 3.4 million, made to vendors on CERP contracts and mitigate the risk of overpayments and underpayments because of currency rate fluctuations. This occurred because USFOR-A did not issue guidance on recording and reconciling CERP data until May 2009, and did not properly train personnel on that guidance. USCENTCOM and USFOR-A did not provide sufficient CERP contract oversight to prevent improper payments, payments from unauthorized sites, or unauthorized advance payments. Also, DoD acquisition policy lacked a requirement for contracts to be written and paid in the same currency. As a result, USFOR-A had potentially up to 38.4 million in outstanding unliquidated obligations, improper payments, and high-risk CERP advance payments, and a high risk for currency exchange rate fraud and overpaying or underpaying Afghanistan vendors.
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