The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Sunday, July 20

odds & ends

Lots of news is in the news on current and upcoming contracts. Very little concrete information though on how the new contracts will be awarded or to whom.

The UN News Center reports in Iraq: UN earmarks oil and electricity equipment for urgent delivery that big money is already slated and in the pipeline for a variety of projects.
Multi-million dollar contracts for heavy equipment and spare parts for Iraq’s oil and electricity sectors have been prioritized for immediate delivery after talks this month with United Nations agencies, the United States-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and Iraqi representatives, the UN Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) announced today (July 17).

The contracts, chosen from the UN Oil-for-Food programme’s humanitarian pipeline are fully funded from pre-war oil sales and include items urgently needed for the rehabilitation of Iraq’s infrastructure, OIP said.

Regular weekly meetings of UN and Iraqi experts and CPA advisers have so far produced a list of 1,419 contracts with items totalling $1.95 billion, including the oil sector ($1.038 billion); electricity ($794 million); water and sanitation ($54 million); youth and sports ($19.4 million); labour and social affairs ($11 million).
Computerwire covers the upcoming Request for Proposals for three cellular networks in Iraq in its recent article US Unveils Iraq Cellphone Plan
The US administration in Iraq has asked for applications for licenses to build and operate three regional cell phone networks in the country.


A request for proposals will be issued in the week beginning July 28, and proposals will be required within 14 days.
Speaking of investing in the cellular network, the Financial Times reports in Investment rules waived on Iraqi projects that the CPA has overridden Iraqi legislation. Pretty clear the action was taken to open up Iraq to foreign investment for its cellular network. Hope the Iraqi people had a say in this.
The Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad will waive a key piece of Iraqi legislation requiring all foreign investors to allocate a 51 per cent share of their projects in Iraq to Iraqi entities, a senior CPA official said yesterday announcing a competition for mobile phone licences in Iraq.

The CPA has used its broad powers to override Iraqi legislation in the past, but this was the first time it had been used so decisively to influence the climate for foreign investment.

David Leech, a CPA adviser to the communications ministry, outlined the plans for a competition for the licences, which is to begin with a request for proposals on July 28, followed closely by a bidders' conference in Amman, Jordan.
And the New York Times covered who will handle security services in U.S. Considers Private Iraqi Force to Guard Sites
The Pentagon is considering a plan to train a private Iraqi security force and make it responsible for guarding pipelines, government buildings and hundreds of other sites in Iraq, military officials said today.

[...] the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad and private American companies, including Kroll Inc., a well-known private security consulting concern, were discussing how members of the proposed force could be screened and approved.

The cost of training the Iraqi force would likely be paid by United States taxpayers, military officials said. The salaries for the Iraqi guards might also be paid by the United States, the officials said, at least until an Iraqi government emerges, although funds could be drawn from Iraqi oil revenue.
Kroll Inc is involved in the talks (are they already on the payroll?) and said to be in the running for some part of the effort.
"Our sense is that the military has too much on their plate right now, and that these are issues that need to be addressed, and the way to do that is through the private sector,"
For those of you who are concerned about the depth of the Iraq occupation, you might want to skip the New York Times article. You'll sleep better that way.


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