A US Agency for International Development project administered by an American contractor in Pakistan's tribal areas has done little to improve governance in the region, a USAID audit said. The US and Pakistani governments have become increasingly concerned about the tribal region, along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, fearing that lack of governance and development will continue to fuel extremism in a region known as a safe haven for militants. But the USAID report posted online Thursday warned that a three-year, 45.6-million-dollar contract awarded to Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) to build capacity in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas has "achieved little." The USAID project was intended to nurture a FATA Secretariat overseeing governance in the region, and the FATA Development Authority, which was tasked with economic development. In addition, the project hoped to boost the strength of non-governmental groups in the area. "As of October 31, 2009, the capacity building program had been in place for 22 months of a 36-month program but had achieved little with regard to the program's two main goals," the inspector general report said. The audit acknowledged that some programs were intended to span over the course of three years, but added that "little progress had been achieved to build the capacity of the FATA Secretariat and the FATA Development Authority, in part because the program got off to such a slow start." It slammed DAI for failing to deliver on a set of promises by the end of 2009, noting in particular "at the time of the audit, 340 of 400 computers procured for the FATA governmental institutions remained boxed up and unused." The report acknowledged that some positive steps including training of government staff had been accomplished, and it noted that the company had to deal with security setbacks in the volatile region. It also said DAI was hampered by uncertainty about whether its contract would be renewed amid a US shift towards favoring Pakistani rather than US contractors in the region. The US government has made economic and governance development in Pakistan an increasingly important part of its strategy as international forces battle a resurgent Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.