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Report: US Occupation Authority in Iraq Lost Track of Nearly $9B

An audit by a U.S. inspector says the U.S.-led authority that governed Iraq after the 2003 invasion failed to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to Iraqi ministries.

The audit released Sunday by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the Coalition Provisional Authority failed to establish control systems to verify how the money was spent, which opened it to corruption.

In some instances, money was used to pay what the report calls "ghost" employees, explaining that out of 8,206 guards on the payroll at one ministry, only 602 could be accounted for.

Former CPA chief Paul Bremer rejected the findings, saying the report assumes western-style accounting procedures could have been quickly set up during wartime.

Mr. Bremer says delaying payment to Iraqi public servants could have created additional security threats.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.