Search

 

Cablegate: Two Issues Regarding Irrf Re-Obligation Authority

VZCZCXRO0909
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #1654 1410700
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 210700Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1260
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 001654

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID IZ PREL
SUBJECT: TWO ISSUES REGARDING IRRF RE-OBLIGATION AUTHORITY

Summary
-------

1. As the infrastructure programs supported by Iraq Relief
and Reconstruction Funds (IRRF) come to an end over the next
year, it is important that we retain the ability to shift
funds among projects through re-obligation authority. We also
need to make the de-obligation/re-obligation procedures more
efficient, both in Washington and in Baghdad. End Summary.

De-obligation/Re-obligation in the Supplemental
--------------------------------------------- --

2. The latest conference version of the FY07 Supplemental
Appropriations Bill that we have seen does not include
language giving us the flexibility to de-obligate funds from
some IRRF projects and re-obligate them to others. If such
language is not added, the Administration will lose the
flexibility to shift remaining funds to meet our needs. Lack
of this flexibility will make it difficult to successfully
complete the remaining important infrastructure projects in
Iraq.

3. The FY06 Supplemental Appropriation included authority
for us to re-obligate money. Some projects were not needed,
were closed because of security concerns, or were handed over
to the Iraqi Government to complete at lower cost. Others
suffered cost overruns because of unforeseen expenses or the
need for more capacity. The ability to shift funds among
them has been valuable - we have de-obligated $300 million
using our current authority. The de-ob/re-ob process is
rigorous and transparent. If we shift funds between projects
in different sectors, Congressional notification is required.

4. I understand that the Department has made inclusion of
re-obligation authority a top priority and that the Deputy
Secretary personally has engaged Congressional leadership on

SIPDIS
this point. Please let me know if I can reinforce the
importance of this issue by making calls or by having my
staff provide examples or details. MNF-I tells me that the
Defense Department is also pressing this issue on the Hill.

Increasing De-obligation/Re-obligation Efficiency
--------------------------------------------- ----

5. The second issue is the time required by the current
de-ob/re-ob process. This will become especially critical if
re-obligation authority is not extended. It can take more
than 60 days from the point at which we identify a need to
the point at which we receive authorization to shift funds -
not including Congressional Notification (CN) period.

6. I recommend that State, Defense, and OMB take a look at
whether the process of de-ob/re-ob can be speeded up in
Washington. For our part, I have instructed my staff to make
sure that we are acting as quickly as possible on de-ob/re-ob
in Baghdad. We cannot short-circuit the process, but we
should ensure that requests receive prompt review at every
stage as we enter this crucial period. IRRF is still making
a major contribution but largely will be judged on how it
ends. We owe it to the people of Iraq and to U.S. taxpayers
to spend the remaining $3 billion as wisely as possible.
CROCKER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: