The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Wednesday, July 23

on-going money matters

More contracts and awards in the news. Today's bpost ends with a Letter to the Editor from the Washington Post that we urge you to read. It's great and it got published--which is a minor miracle in itself.

AFP reports Paul Bremer of the Coalition Provisional Authority has set up a Trade Bank of Iraq with the US Treasury Department. Watch for future contracts concerning this venture.
The bank would issue and confirm letters of credit - basically payment guarantees - to smooth trade flows, boosting imports such as heavy construction equipment and also freeing up exports, particularly of oil.

Bremer, the US-appointed civilian administrator of Iraq, would name a president of the Trade Bank of Iraq "well before August", [Treasury Department spokesman Tony] Fratto said.

The newly installed bank president would then select a banking consortium for a one-year extendable contract to operate the facility.
Canada News Wire reported that the CPA has issued licenses to Iridium Satellite LLC for satellite voice and data communications services in Iraq.

How much are they paying in licensing fees and to whom, precisely, are they writing the check?
Iridium Satellite LLC, provider of global satellite voice and data communications, today announced that it has been authorized by the office of the Coalition Provisional Authority (the current governing authority of Iraq) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to provide and sell Iridium's mobile satellite communications services, subscriber terminals, and related equipment in Iraq. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has responsibility, by order of the Coalition Provisional Authority, for licensing all commercial telecommunications services in Iraq.
USA Today reported that BearingPoint won the controversial Economic Reform, Recovery and Sustained Growth in Iraq contract. Figures are vague but its somewhere in the $200 million dollar range. No news on the award has yet been posted over at the USAID website. This particular contract went out on a limited bidding process.
BearingPoint will be responsible for creating Iraq's budget, writing business laws, setting up tax collection, laying out trade and customs rules.

It also is to:

•Privatize state-owned enterprises by auctioning them off or issuing Iraqis shares in the enterprises.

•Reopen banks and jump-start the private sector by making small loans of $100 to $10,000. (Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan are expected to seek work as subcontractors to revive Iraq's banks.)

•Wean Iraqis from the U.N. oil-for-food program, the main source of food for 60% of the population.

•Issue a new currency and set exchange rates.
Company Bearing Point
Award $60 million to $200 million (cost plus 6-10%)
Agency USAID
Date of RFP June 4, 2003
Date of Award July 18, 2003
Nature of work To rebuild Iraq's shattered economy, opening its banks, setting tax rates, issuing a new currency and generating jobs for millions of idle workers.
BearingPoint gets contested Iraq contract
By James Cox
USA Today
July 21, 2003

ABT Associates has awarded a grant to the Iraqi Nursing Association (INA) for $137,000. The USAID posted a press release with details on the award.

Company Abt Associates
Subcontractor Iraqi Nursing Association (INA)
Award $137,000
Agency USAID/ Iraq Health Systems Strengthening Project (IHSSP)
Date of RFP
Date of Award July 18, 2003
Nature of work For the purchase of new uniforms, bed linens, and nurses' kits -- which include stethoscopes and pen lights -- and other equipment for the Yarmouk Hospital.
Iraqi Nursing Association Receives U.S. Grant
USAID website
July 21, 2003

Two trade groups are promoting business opportunities in Iraq.

Iraqi Trade Corps

American Iraqi Chamber of Commerce (AICC)

AICC is sponsoring an upcoming conference in Amman, Jordan. For information, U.S. and non U.S.-based firms should contact Dr. Sam Kubba, CEO & Chairman at or by phone at 240-893-7663. For registration and further information, visit
The American-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce (AICC) is organizing a two-day conference in Amman, Jordan on August 3-4, 2003 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. AICC is pleased to bring you The Iraq Reconstruction Conference, an exclusive forum in Amman - Jordan, providing you with the latest information on reconstruction programs and funding, strategies for winning new business, and lucrative networking with top government and corporate leaders.
A great letter.

Washington Post
Letters to the Editor
Monday, July 21, 2003; Page A20
To the Editor:

Regarding the article about President Bush's data on Iraq's nuclear weapons program over time ["Bush Faced Dwindling Data on Iraq Nuclear Bid," front page, July 16]:

I would like to receive the same type of analytical information about U.S. companies that have been retained by the government for commercial activity in Iraq.

For example, which agency or department intended to award contracts for what services? Who were the bidders?

What was the nature of the procurement -- e.g., sole source, open and competitive? Who was awarded contracts and why? For what services and for how much money? Are contract payment figures included in the $3.9 billion recently reported as being the monthly tab on the war in Iraq [news story, July 10]? What are the historical links between the contract awardees and leading personnel of the White House administration, if any?



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