Auditors have found that the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq after Saddam Hussein's regime fell, failed to keep track of the Iraqi money it was doling out to contractors. Some examples, according to a congressional report:
Only $498 million of the approximately $1.5 billion in cash given to Iraqi banks for government operating expenses can be accounted for.
Auditors believed Halliburton overcharged $218 million on a contract to import fuel and repair oil fields, for which the US company was paid $1.6 billion in Iraqi oil proceeds.
One US official was given a week to spend $6.75 million in cash to beat the CPA's handover of the country to the interim Iraqi government in June 2004, when the money would revert to Iraqi control.
CPA officials gave more than $8 billion in cash to Iraqi ministries that had no internal controls to handle such an influx. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found that significant amounts appeared to be paid to ''ghost employees."
SOURCE: US House Committee on Government Reform, minority staff; prepared for Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California