WASHINGTON : A government watchdog is raising fresh concerns that US funds meant to help pay Afghan police salaries may instead be going to “ghost workers,” according to a letter he sent to military commanders in Afghanistan. John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said his staff has initiated an audit on the reliability of personnel data for Afghan National Security Forces, including how such data are used to calculate payrolls for Afghan National Police officers.
“I am writing to express my concern that the US may be unwittingly helping to pay the salaries of non-existent members of the Afghan National Police,” Sopko wrote in the February 19 letter to two US generals and one Canadian general in the NATO mission, seen by Reuters.
“The possibility of ‘ghost workers’ on the (Afghan National Police) payroll came up several times in the course of my most recent visit toAfghanistan and in recent discussions with European Union (EU) representatives.”