The head of the National Procurement Authority (NPA), Elham Hotaki, was summoned to the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan parliament, to brief MPs on his office’s involvement in alleged fraud involving supply contracts for the Afghan National Army.
Hotaki said there has been no corrupt activity in his office.
The MPs claimed that they found evidence of corruption in contracts for fuel, rice and medicines supplied to the Afghan National Army in some provinces. The contracts are processed by the National Procurement Authority.
The NPA chief said some government officials and some “corrupt” contractor companies are trying to blame his office for their own problems.
“'Corrupt’ companies or employees or high-ranking officials or low-ranking officials who do not have a response to your questions are putting all the blame on the procurement (authority),” he said.
According to Hotaki, a delay in fuel supply for government forces was due to problems in the Ministry of Defense and Minister of Interior.
“We approved emergency procurement instructions six months ago for procurements in emergency cases so that soldiers in the army, in this country, are not faced with death,” he said.
Hotaki said that as part of their activities, they have given a fuel testing contract to an Indian company since 2014.
He blamed the Ministry of Agriculture for inefficiency in transferring India’s wheat from Chabahar Port in Iran to Kabul.
“We did our assessments on five companies. The bidding was done between two companies whose (owners) are relatives. They were introduced to us by the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.
During the session, the Wolesi Jirga Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani said they will also summon officials from the Afghanistan National Standards Authority (ANSA) and the Ministry of Agriculture to talk over the matter.
“We will summon the officials of the National Standards Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture and will hold a joint session so that everything is made clear,” said Rahmani.