wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
2009-03-27 21:25:00
Secretary of State
Cable title:  


pdf how-to read a cable
O 272125Z MAR 09
						S E C R E T STATE 030009 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2026

Classified By: NEA/I Director Timothy Betts for
reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
S E C R E T STATE 030009

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2026

Classified By: NEA/I Director Timothy Betts for
reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1.(SBU) This is an action request. Please see
paragraph 8.

2.(C) Representatives from NEA/I and Embassy
Baghdad Anti-Corruption Coordinator's Office (ACCO)
met with representatives of the United Nations
Development Program's (UNDP) Iraq team,
including the Deputy Special Representative
Secretary General for Iraq (SGSR) David Shearer,
in Amman Jordan on March 8 and10 to discuss
UNDP's implementation of its USG-funded
anti-corruption program. NEA and ACCO expressed
strong concerns regarding the pace and focus of
implementation and highlighted the need for swift
improvement. Senior UNDP staff indicated that a
significant re-organization of the UNDP Iraq office
is forthcoming and that this may have a positive
impact on the implementation of the ACCO/NEA
anti-corruption program. End Summary.

Problems with Project Implementation

3. (SBU) On March 8 and 10 NEA/I and Embassy Baghdad
Anti-Corruption Coordinator's Office met with
representatives of UNDP's Iraq team to discuss
UNDP's implementation of the anti-corruption
program funded from the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction
Fund. NEA/I awarded $8 million to UNDP in August
2008 to begin working with the Government of
Iraq (GOI) to develop a more robust anti-corruption
strategy and to address capacity development in the
GOI's three major anti-corruption institutions: the
Commission on Integrity, the Board of Supreme Audit
and Inspectors General. UNDP undertook few activities
between August 2008 and the first week of January 2009,
at which point a conference was held in Amman to
begin discussing an anti-corruption self-assessment
to be carried out by various GOI ministries. We note
that UNDP delivered a draft workplan in December 2009.
Since that time we understand that UNPDC/Vienna has held
discussions with relevant GOI institutions regarding
the self-assessment.

4. (C) Discussions with UNDP Governance Director
Sylvia Fletcher (Note: Ms. Fletcher is responsible
for the management of UNDPs anti-corruption program.

End Note.) focused on the need to increase the speed
of project implementation and re-focus UNDP's efforts
on helping the GOI draft its anti-corruption strategy,
engaging with the GOI's primary anti-corruption
institutions, and newly elected provincial leaders,
and hiring the appropriate staff to carry out these
activities. Fletcher stated that UNDP is attempting
to hire two consultants but one candidate backed out
and the other will not be available until July.
Fletcher also indicated that before work would begin
on the GOI's anti-corruption strategy, the
anti-corruption self-assessment had to be completed,
which she estimated would occur sometime in April.
Despite the expression of concern by NEA/I and ACCO,
Ms. Fletcher and her colleague, Henrik Lindroth,
asserted that the project was progressing well.

5. (C) Senior UNDP staff told NEA/I and ACCO that
UNDP leadership in Amman and New York are not
satisfied with the lack of progress on implementing
the anti-corruption program. DSRSG David Shearer
stated that GOI Council of Ministers Secretary
General, Ali Alaq, recently voiced his dismay at
the lack of project implementation on the part of
UNDP regarding anti-corruption, citing specifically
the lack of assistance in drafting a revised
anti-corruption strategy. Mr. Shearer said that
he shared these concerns and would be taking a
closer look at the program.

Potential Impact

6. (C) Anti-corruption remains a serious problem
in Iraq and a major priority for U.S. technical
assistance moving forward. In his Iraq policy speech
of February 27, the President specifically listed
the fight against corruption as a key element of our
Congress has expressed strong interest in the topic of
corruption in Iraq and what the U.S. and GOI are doing
to combat it. Congress has mandated several extensive
reports and has even placed a hold on 60% of Rule of Law
funding for Iraq pending a report certifying that
the GOI has an anti-corruption strategy and is
implementing it. In response to this reporting
requirement the Department submitted a report to
Congress in November 2008. The report stated that
while the GOI had an anti-corruption strategy,
the GOI would soon begin work, in tandem with UNDP
and UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on a more
robust strategy. Due to the exceedingly slow
implementation of this program, this has yet
to happen. The Administration plans to request
additional funds from Congress for anti-corruption
activities in Iraq. But with little progress to
show for the previous funding, any request m
ay meet with resistance from appropriators.

Re-organization of UNDP-Iraq

7. (S) DSRSG David Shearer indicated that a
significant re-organization of the UNDP-Iraq office
in Amman will take place in the near future. Currently
there are four pillars in the UNDP office: Governance,
Reconstruction, Services, and Refugees. Under the
re-organization the four pillars will be folded into
two; Governance (which will subsume the refugee functions)
and Economics (which will take on reconstruction and
essential services). Shearer indicated that UNDP is
recruiting senior leaders to serve as directors of
these two pillars, and that this re-organization may
have a positive impact on the implementation of the
anti-corruption project. (Note: Basil Comnas, who
is likely to become Shearer's deputy in Baghdad,
indicated that Ms. Fletcher was not likely to be
considered for one of these two posts and that as
a result, her involvement with the anti-corruption
project may come to an end. End note.)

Action Request

8. (C) Embassy Baghdad is requested to seek Ali Alaq's
feedback regarding UNDP's performance in providing
assistance and technical training to as part of its
anti-corruption program and to share with Alaq the
need for the GOI to communicate its concerns on this
issue formally and directly with the head of UNDP in
New York, as well as the UNSYG through the GOI Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, and through the GOI Permanent
Representative to the United Nations in New York.
The following talking points may be used in discussion
with Alaq:

Begin talking points:

- We remain committed to assisting the GOI in
combating corruption in Iraq,

- We support the GOI's efforts to craft a more
robust anti-corruption strategy and to that end have funded
UNDP and UNODC to assist the GOI in the drafting its new

- While we acknowledge UNDP's difficulties in recruiting
qualified personnel, we share your concerns regarding the
lack of UNDP progress in providing technical assistance in
drafting a more robust anti-corruption strategy and in
providing the GOI's primary anti-corruption institutions
with necessary capacity development training.

- We have spoken to UNDP representatives about the
need for swifter implementation of its anti-corruption

- We strongly encourage you to express your
concerns formally and directly to the Head of UNDP in
Amman and in New York, as well as the UN Secretary General,

- We are also pressing UNDP to implement the
project with greater speed and effectiveness.

End Talking Points.