Contact: Josh Holly; 202.226.3988
Washington D.C. –Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following opening statement from the House Armed Services Committee’s hearing regarding approaches to the auditing of reconstruction and support activities in Iraq:
“All four of you perform a valuable service, both for the American taxpayer and for this Congress. You and your staffs ensure that U.S. funds are spent appropriately and as effectively as possible. This inspection and auditing task is especially difficult when you consider the amount of funds dedicated to Iraq reconstruction and the challenging security environment in which you must carry out your duties. Please accept our thanks and extend this appreciation to your staffs.
“Iraqi reconstruction efforts constitute one element of what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, recently called the ‘three-legged stool’ of the U.S. Government’s strategy for Iraq. This strategy’s long-term success rests, in part, on the effective reconstruction of Iraqi society, including projects addressing electricity, democracy, roads, bridges, water, sanitation, transport, and telecommunications needs – to name only a few.
“To date, Congress has appropriated more than $25 billion for these efforts. Because the U.S. government is accountable to the U.S. taxpayer for that money, we must have the right inspection and auditing mechanisms in place to provide sufficient oversight. In previous Congresses, I supported efforts to implement a robust process, including the creation and continuation of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Through its audits and reports, that office has highlighted many areas for improvement in Iraq, and I look forward to seeing the results of its continued work.”