Our monitoring desk US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke has promised 'accountability and 'transparency in Americas civilian aid to Pakistan, a fortnight after a top Senator had expressed serious concern that the funds might end up in bank accounts of corrupt politicians and officials of the country. In a letter to Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry, Holbrooke said the State Department and the USAID are taking several measures to improve accountability, including requiring separate bank accounts for US assistance and placing US-hired accountants inside ministries, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported on Friday. Pledging more transparency as the money starts to flow, Holbrooke in his letter dated June 14 said: We are beginning to communicate our plans to the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani people. Your suggestion of providing more information about our efforts on the Internet is a good one, and we plan on putting more information on the USAID and embassy websites as our plans become more concrete. In his four-page letter, Holbrooke confirmed that half of the $1.45 billion in aid to Pakistan in 2010 will be channelled through Pakistani federal and provincial agencies, 13 per cent of which will go to direct budget support. We also have established USAID and State Inspector General Offices in Islamabad, and are asking them to lend their expertise in the project design phase to help develop better mechanisms to guard against waste and fraud, Holbrooke said. We believe that, with such oversight, aid channelled through the government is at least as accountable as aid through under-supervised contracts - which was often the norm in the past, he said. Holbrooke, who has leaned towards giving more money to Pakistani institutions, reminded Kerry that American contractors are also capable of fraud. The programme we have developed strikes a balance between working with Pakistani implementers and American or international entities, he wrote. Perhaps he also sought to strike a balance between his own office and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that is overseeing the massive aid programme: We appreciate your recommendations and continual effort to help us address the challenges posed by providing such large sums to Pakistan over a short but crucial period of time.