The ANDSF pay system had problems for years- the US regularly provided large sums of cash to one individual to pay the salaries of tens or hundreds of soldiers. In 2016, the army contracting command awarded a contract to netlinks to build the Afghanistan personnel and payroll system.
“ APPS is an enterprise resource planning system that will integrate existing MoD and MoI systems for personnel management and payroll, like the Afghan Human Resources Information System (AHRIMS) and Afghan Automated Biometrics Information Systems (AABIS), into a single platform providing timely and accurate accountability of all personnel, including civilians. This extensive, multi-year effort to implement APPS will strengthen transparency, audit capability, personnel accountability and the elimination of “ghost soldiers,” and limit ANDSF payroll fraud across the ministries. MoD and MoI personnel must provide personal data, possess an identification card, have biometric data on file, and occupy a valid position on the current tashkil to be validated and slotted within the APPS system. During this reporting period, APPS achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) in both the MoD and MoI. In September 2018, CSTC-A began funding monthly ANA payroll disbursements only to those personnel that are validated and slotted in APPS and meet the minimum base pay requirements. To meet minimum base pay requirements, APPS must contain validated information for an individual’s biometric number, name, father’s name, grandfather’s name, ID card number, date of birth, and actual rank. At the end of this reporting period, 159,490 ANA personnel (85 percent of ANA on-hand personnel) have been slotted in APPS and met minimum base pay requirements. Within the MoI, 70,426 ANP personnel (60 percent of the ANP on-hand personnel) have been slotted in APPS and met minimum base pay requirements in APPS.”
https://media.defense.gov/2018/Dec/20/2002075158/-1/-1/1/1225-REPORT-DECEMBER-2018.PDF pg 48-50
However, as late as 2019, federal audit reports found the system was not working as intended and the US still did not know if soldiers were being paid. https://media.defense.gov/2019/Aug/19/2002172386/-1/-1/1/DODIG-2019-115.PDF pg 3
The fy 2020 appropriations act stated only individuals who were registered in apps should be funded with asff funds.
“ The requirement in the FY2020 Appropriations Act that only those personnel biometrically enrolled in the Afghan Pay and Personnel System (APPP) may be paid with DoD funds has helped mitigate resistance within the MoD to implementing APPS.” https://media.defense.gov/2020/Jul/01/2002348001/-1/-1/1/ENHANCING_SECURITY_AND_STABILITY_IN_AFGHANISTAN.PDF#page63 Pg 4
Sigar began an audit in 2020 on the accuracy of the apps data, and preliminary results found significant data reliability issues with the data provided to dod. https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2021-07-30qr.pdf pg 64
Dod has never provided auditors direct access to the system despite the preliminary findings.
Dod awarded the contract to netlinks again in 2020, and from contact documentation, it appears they made sure no one else won the contract to make sure the true condition of the system was not leaked to another contractor. (https://govtribe.com/opportunity/federal-contract-opportunity/afghan-personnel-and-pay-system-apps-w15qkn21r5001-1 Questions and answers documents in link)
The US Military lost accountability of the money and never really knew where the money went. They did claim they did, citing the Afghan personnel and pay system as the solution. But it never worked. That’s where the 300k number came from, not intel. To date , they paid over 64 million for the system.
https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2021/fy2021_ASFF_Justification_Book.pdf pg 27
https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2019/FY2019_ASFF_Justification_Book.pdf Pg 29
They deposited the money directly In Afghanistan’s central bank, and were tasked with ensuring it went to the soldiers.
https://media.defense.gov/2018/Dec/20/2002075158/-1/-1/1/1225-REPORT-DECEMBER-2018.PDF pg 42; 48-50; 105-107
But they hid the truth about the system and it still hasn’t come out that they had no idea where the money went. An audit found it wasn’t working in 2019 and it still wasn’t working when they left in 2021.
https://media.defense.gov/2019/Aug/19/2002172386/-1/-1/1/DODIG-2019-115.PDF pg 3
Nobody is asking about APPS, despite the dod saying it was the system of record that would ensure accurate payments and reduce corruption. The combined security transition command reported on the Afghan army numbers. This is where the false numbers came from, not intel. The inaccurate reporting was kept up until the very end. That’s why other nations and the state department didn’t know the true story of the ANDSF until after everything fell in august.