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Draft Program Review Board (PRB) Minutes – April 14, 2004

* George Wolfe Chairman/Director Office of Management and Budget
* Hazim Saed Iraq Ministry of Finance
* Behnam Puttrus Iraq Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation
* Absent Deputy Senior Advisor for the Office of Security Affairs
* Teddy Bryan USAID
* Andy Bearpark Director, Office of Operations & Infrastructure
* Absent Governance
* Lt Col Jim Reitzel Coalition Joint Task Force – 7, Comptroller
* Lindy Cameron Representative of the United Kingdom Government
* Neil Mules Representative of the Australian Government
* Chris Soares Economic and Development Policy
* Neil Hawkins Council for International Cooperation
COL Eric Engelbrektsson Program Coordinator
Jesse Pruett Program Review Board - Regional Programs Manager
COL Rafael Lara CPA – General Counsel
Col Don Davis CPA Comptroller
Absent CPA – HCA
Absent CPA – Program Management Office
Ihsan K.Ghanim Board of Supreme Audit
Patricia Hatcher CPA -- PMLC
Dr. Faik Ali Abdul-Rasool Iraq Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation
Steve Newhouse CPA – Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation
Ben Krause CPA – Ministry of Justice
Said Hakki CPA – Religious Affairs
Steve Lucks CPA – Ministry of Communication
Heather Fleming CPA – Private Sector Development
Taif Sami Iraqi Ministry of Finance
*Voting Members


The PRB approved the minutes from the 07 April 04 meeting.


#673 – Microcredit for CPA South -- $10,000,000. CPA South/Keith Reed. Heather Fleming, CPA Private Sector Development (PSD), represented CPA South. This is an increase to an existing program. Microcredit encourages private sector growth and employment through extension of credit to small and micro enterprises in urban areas. Due to high demand in other regions, the funds available for the Southern Region in the original program were insufficient. The loans will be administered by CHF, a US NGO already doing similar work under CPA Grant 0001. It is anticipated that the average loan will be less than $2,000. CPA PSD noted that a Trust, under Iraqi non-government control, is being set up to administer the credit funds after 30 June 2004. The Chair noted, and the Iraqi MoPDC agreed, that the Central Bank of Iraq should be removed from the proposed list of Trustees. CPA PSD stated that the make-up of the trust was still being worked and welcomed input; however that should be a topic separate from the approval of the credit funding. Also, this trust would administer not only this proposal, but also other microcredit programs already extant in Iraq. The Program Coordinator noted that approving the funding might well be contingent on assurance on how the funds will be administered after 30 June 04. The UK representative asked about the relationship with the IFC credit program and whether there could be a synergy between the two. CPA PSD stated that the two programs were different both in targeted loan constituencies and method of distribution. The Iraqi MoF representative urged that control of the trust be turned over to Iraqi control as soon as practical and include the MoF in the decision process. CPA PSD will consider Iraqi MoF input in structuring the program. The Iraqi MoPDC and Board of Supreme Audit (BSA) both expressed concern over seemingly high management fees. BSA also urged CPA PSD to coordinate with the Ministry of Labor. Due to the many questions, the motion was tabled until the next PRB to allow CPA South and PSD to work with the various offices to answer the aforementioned questions more thoroughly.

#677 – Universal Postal Union (UPU) Iraq Contributions -- $436,050. Ministry of Communication (MoC)/Steve Lucks. The UPU is a standards organization responsible for methods for passing of postal information internationally. The Nation of Iraq, under the former regime, stopped paying dues to the UPU. This resulted in accumulated dues, interests, fines and sanctions. Sanctions include halt of postal transit in all of Iraq’s neighboring countries except Jordan; a serious hindrance to the advancement of commerce and inclusion in the international community. The UPU board has offered relief of interest payments and other sanctions upon Iraq’s payment of overdue and current dues. The requested amount includes $343,100 in past dues and $92,950 in current dues. The Australian representative asked when this requirement emerged. CPA MoC stated that the requirement was verified only a few weeks earlier and not in time to be considered in the Revised 2004 Iraqi Budget. The Iraqi MoPDC and BSA both expressed concern that the Iraqi dues were too high and thought relief for past dues should be sought by CPA. CPA MoC stated that the UPU had already reduced a large part of the amount due.. The UK representative noted that the resolution of this issue should not be considered a precedent for other pending international body membership issues. The Iraqi MoF asked that CPA MoC discuss this issue with them before a decision is made. A motion was approved to table the issue until the next PRB.

#678 – Judicial Security -- $2,200,000. Ministry of Justice (MoJ)/Ben Krause. MOJ currently has 550 trained Judicial Personal Security Detachment (PSD) personnel and part of that curriculum is specific training on Glock pistol use and maintenance. Another 4500 PSDs remain to be trained. Glock 19 pistols, ammo and holsters were requested from US Supplemental Funding; however, the contract for weapons is currently under legal review and its award date and delivery date is undetermined at this time. The Supplemental procurement process also doesn’t guarantee that Glock pistols will be purchased. That would result in issuing weapons that PSD teams have not trained on and cause a commonality problem for maintenance and service. It is critical that these weapons and related equipment are fielded to PSD teams in the shortest time possible. CPA MoJ noted that the urgent need was for 4 months of weapons estimated at $463,000. The Chair asked if MoJ had examined their budget to see if this requirement could be accommodated. CPA MoJ stated that the question had been posed and the Iraqi Minister of Justice could not find the funds. Due to the recent security situation, MoJ has not conferred with the Iraqi MoF on this requirement. They will do so as soon as possible. CPA CiC and the Iraqi MoPDC questioned whether weapons purchases were allowable under UNSCR 1483, since it emphasized disarmament. CPA General Counsel stated that these weapons are for self-defense and appropriate under the resolution. The Chair asked CPA General Counsel whether specifying Glock met the definition of full and open competition. CPA General Counsel stated that, absent a need for commonality with an existing inventory, that a specification of Glock, or equal, would be appropriate. The Australian representative expressed disappointment that the US Supplemental could not meet this requirement on a timely basis. The proposal was tabled subject to CPA MoJ seeking funds for the near-term requirement from the Iraqi MoF and returning, on an emergency basis if necessary, to the PRB for consideration.

#680 – Religious Activities -- $52,000,000. Religious Affairs/Said Hakki. In August 2003 the Ministry of Religious Affairs was dissolved and was broken into three DG’s (Shiite, Sunni, and Non Muslim). The CPA representative for Religious Affairs stated that the current $18.4 million budget was based on Saddam’s era and the current budget allocation only had 157 Facility Protective Service (FPS) personnel to secure the three DG buildings and over 400 mosques. The additional funding is required to provide a secure environment for the workers at the Three DG’s as well as the 400 mosques throughout Iraq. The Chair asked if the Iraqi MoF had been consulted on this requirement. Religious Affairs stated that the proposal had been made during budget deliberations, but was not supported by the MoF. However, the security situation for religions institutions has changed. The Program Review Committee had requested that Religious Affairs produce a breakout of requested funds. The discussion led to the conclusion that the requested breakout was not fully understood. The proposal was tabled to allow Religious Affairs to complete a better breakout of proposed requirements, to include a breakout of immediate requirements, and further discussions with the Iraqi MoF.


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