POLITICS
01/26/2015 07:13 pm ET Updated Mar 28, 2015

U.S. Contractor Awarded More Than $1 Billion Is Suspended Over 'Serious Misconduct'

John Moore via Getty Images

WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it had suspended International Relief and Development, a non-profit aid contractor which won major U.S. contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, after finding "serious misconduct" involving funding.

"The agency's review revealed serious misconduct in IRD's performance, management, internal controls and present responsibility," the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States' premier aid agency, said in a statement.

USAID contracts with IRD in Afghanistan amounted to more than $1 billion and roughly $85.57 million in Iraq between 2006 and 2014, according to statistics provided by USAID. The agency also won U.S. contracts for work in other countries.

IRD said in a statement it was cooperating fully with USAID and was working on a response to address the agency's concerns and re-establish trust.

"According to the notification, USAID is taking this action principally due to specific instances of, and failure to detect, alleged mischarging of unallowable expenses by a former IRD officer, and inadequate financial management controls," IRD said.

USAID said its decision was based on a zero-tolerance policy for mismanagement of American taxpayer funds. Some 230 contractors have been suspended since the inception of a special investigating unit in 2011, USAID said. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool)

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