The defense affairs committee of the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan parliament, which assessed the fuel procurement contracts of the Ministry of Defense, has criticized the National Procurement Authority for “inattention” and “lack of proper planning.”
Members of the commission said they made their report based on the assessment of their team that visited the provinces of Badghis, Farah and Herat in western Afghanistan last week.
The commission said the Afghan Army has not been supplied with fuel in the western provinces of the country due to a delay in an assessment of their contracts by the National Procurement Authority (NPA), which operates under the direct oversight of President Ashraf Ghani.
“The corps authorities say that ‘our (procurement) officials are removed immediately when they put pressure on contractors and reject their poor quality fuel’,” said Ali Akbar Jamshidi, a member of the committee said.
“This is high treason to act this way towards those who sacrifice their lives,” said Ramazan Bashardost, an MP from Kabul. “This is based on the law--they (Army troops) should have been supplied with fuel ahead of December 6.”
An official of the NPA, meanwhile, said that the delay in signing some fuel contracts was due to “problems in procurement planning,” and said the office acted on the issue in a timely manner.
“The financial authority of the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior is usually under the control of other institutions that can buy the required equipment (for the ministries),” said Ramin Ayaz, the head of the NPA’s strategic communication.
But the Ministry of Defense said its procurement processes have so far been done on time.
“The Ministry of Defense has accomplished all its procurement activities on time, based on the winter plan,” Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said.
This comes as some MPs on Saturday accused procurement authorities of corruption and said it has reduced the efficiency of government operations against militants in parts of the country.