By John Lee.
A report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has found that $206 million was wasted on a program to train Iraqi police that Baghdad says is neither needed nor wanted.
The Police Development Program (PDP) was to be a five-year multibillion-dollar program to train Iraq’s police forces, and was to be the largest State Department-managed program worldwide.
But the American Embassy in Baghdad never got a written commitment from Iraq to participate, and following what the report called Baghdad's "disinterest" in the project it is faced with dismantling the two purpose-built training centres in Baghdad and Basra.
The Baghdad Police College Annex (BPAX) was built by the State Department at an estimated cost of about $108 million. Although BPAX’s facilities will be given to the Iraqis, its closure "amounts to a de facto waste of the estimated $108 million to be invested in its construction", says the report.
In addition, the State Department contributed $98 million in PDP funds for constructing the Basrah Consulate so it could be used for PDP training. It too will not be used because the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior decided to terminate training at that location.
This brings the total amount of de facto waste in the PDP (i.e. funds not meaningfully used for the purpose of their appropriation) to about $206 million."