Final Audit Leaves Open How Many Billions US Wasted in Iraq Reconstruction

Report: Precise Amount 'Can Never Be Known'

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Funds (SIGIR) has issued what it says will be its “final” audit report on the massive amounts of money lost or wasted in the course of the Iraq occupation.

Perhaps the most glaring omission, particularly considering this is a “final” report, is an actual dollar figure. The report concedes that the number is in the billions, but concludes that “the precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known.”

The audit cites double-payments, poor inventory controls, and sloppy billing procedures that led to the military paying $80 a pop for a pipe fitting that was available for $1.41. They explained this by saying the billing documents were either “sloppily” reviewed or not looked at at all.

SIGIR itself was a huge money sink, spending more than $200 million trying to figure out what happened to billions of unaccounted for dollars, only to finally concede that it would never be able to.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of