Report: Afghan militants could get contract funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top auditor overseeing U.S. reconstruction in Afghanistan is warning that militant groups could obtain U.S. government contracts because administrative flaws and misunderstandings hamper a new law aimed at weeding out corruption.

The special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction, John P. Sopko, said in an audit released Thursday that weaknesses mar procedures that the Defense Department tightened in 2012 to comply with new federal laws to prevent militants from obtaining U.S. contract payments. Sopko said nearly $2 billion in government contracts was awarded in 2012, but he did not identify how much money was in jeopardy.

The U.S. military has estimated that up to $360 million ended up in the hands of Taliban and criminal elements in Afghanistan.

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