Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

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Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)
Seal for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.gif
Agency overview
Formed 2008
Jurisdiction United States Government
Headquarters Arlington , Virginia
Employees 185 (October 2012)
Agency executive John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General
Website www.sigar.mil

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is the U.S. government’s leading oversight authority on Afghanistan reconstruction. Congress created the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction to provide independent and objective oversight of the Afghanistan Reconstruction funds. Under the authority of Section 1229 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (PL 110-181), SIGAR conducts audit, inspections, and investigations to promote efficiency and effectiveness of reconstruction programs, and to detect and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars. SIGAR also has a hotline that allows individuals to report suspected fraud.[1]

SIGAR's mission is to "promote economy and efficiency of U.S.-funded reconstruction programs in Afghanistan and to detect and deter fraud, waste, and abuse by conducting independent, objective, and strategic audits, inspections, and investigations".

Quarterly reports[edit]

Public Law 110-181 directs SIGAR to submit a quarterly report to Congress.[2] This congressionally-mandated report summarizes SIGAR's audits and investigative activities. The report also provides an overview of reconstruction activities in Afghanistan and includes a detailed statement of all obligations, expenditures, and revenues associated with reconstruction.[3]

As part of its legislative mandate, SIGAR tracks the status of U.S. funds appropriated, obligated, and disbursed for reconstruction activities in Afghanistan in the Quarterly Report. As of June 30, 2013, the United States had appropriated approximately $96.57 billion for relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan since FY 2002. These funds have been allocated into five major areas:[4]

  • $54.30 billion for security
  • $24.70 billion for governance and development
  • $6.92 billion for counter-narcotics efforts
  • $2.67 billion for humanitarian aid
  • $7.99 billion for oversight and operations



Inspector General: In 2012, President Barack Obama selected John F. Sopko to serve as the Special Inspector General. Mr. Sopko has more than 30 years of experience in oversight and investigations as a prosecutor, congressional counsel and senior federal government advisor. He came to SIGAR from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, an international law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., where he had been a partner since 2009. Mr. Sopko’s government experience includes over 20 years on Capitol Hill, where he held key positions in both the Senate and House of Representatives. He served on the staffs of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Select Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

The Inspector General post was previously held by Steve Trent (acting), Herb Richardson (acting), and Arnold Fields.

Since being appointed Mr. Sopko has testified multiple times before Congress on behalf of SIGAR.[5][6]

Deputy Inspector General: Gene Aloise joined SIGAR on September 4, 2012, as the Deputy Inspector General, he oversees day-to-day operations and assists the Inspector General in executing SIGAR’s mission. Mr. Aloise came to SIGAR from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), where he served for 38 years. He has years of experience developing, leading, and managing GAO domestic and international work. His experience includes assignments with congressional committees as well as various offices within GAO.

Staffing and locations[edit]

According to the organization's July 2013 Report to Congress, SIGAR was scheduled to have 194 federal employees at the end of August. Because of the significant increase in reconstruction funding in FY 2011 and FY 2012, SIGAR plans to build its staff to 205 full-time employees in the by FY 2014, a significant increase from 2009, when there were only four investigators. SIGAR has staff members stationed at several locations across the country, including Kandahar and Bagram Airfields, Camp Leatherneck, Mazar-i-Sharif, USFOR-A headquarters in Kabul and the U.S. Consulate in Herat.


  • In October 2012, SIGAR Audit and Investigative Teams won CIGIE Awards for Excellence [7]
  • In May 2012, SIGAR special agents received a Public Service Award today from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for their work in a major bribery case in Afghanistan.
  • In October 2011 a SIGAR audit team was presented the Sentner Award for Dedication and Courage for its work in Laghman Province auditing the Commander's Emergency Response Program.
  • In October 2011 another SIGAR team won an Award for Excellence for its audit of Afghan National Security Force facilities.[8]

Oversight activity[edit]


SIGAR's Audits Directorate conducts audits and inspections of reconstruction activities in Afghanistan. These audits are aimed at a range of programs and activities to fulfill SIGAR's legislative mandate. They identify problems associated with the United States' reconstruction effort, and make recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

SIGAR's audits range from assessments of program direction to narrower examinations of specific contracts or aspects of contract and program management. SIGAR's inspections are quick-impact assessments to determine whether infrastructure projects have been properly constructed, are being used as intended, and can be sustained. SIGAR also conducts forensic reviews of reconstruction funds managed by the Department of Defense, Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. These forensic reviews identify anomalies that may indicate fraud.


The Investigations Directorate conducts criminal and civil investigations of waste, fraud, and abuse relating to programs and operations supported with U.S. funds allocated for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Results are achieved through criminal prosecutions, civil actions, forfeitures, monetary recoveries and suspension and debarments.

To accomplish its mission, SIGAR has full federal law enforcement authority through its enabling legislation as defined by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008. SIGAR's Special Agents investigate crimes involving federal procurement fraud, contract fraud, theft, corruption, bribery of government employees and public officials, and a variety of civil matters pertaining to waste and abuse of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

  • As of the October 2012 Quarterly Report SIGAR had 215 open investigations.[9][10][11]


Under its enabling legislation, SIGAR coordinates with and receives the cooperation of the following organizations while conducting oversight of U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan:

SIGAR and the inspectors general for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Defense Department and Department of State have jointly developed and agreed to a strategic plan for oversight of the roughly $90 billion in U.S. funds appropriated for Afghanistan reconstruction.[12]

External links[edit]

Recent quarterly reports[edit]

Recent audit reports[edit]