Cablegate: Chalabi's Provision of Services Committee - March 11

DE RUEHGB #0763/01 0741057
P 141057Z MAR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Chalabi's Provision of Services Committee - March 11

1. SUMMARY: Despite the Chairman's absence, the Provision of
Services Committee met this week, hosted by the Deputy Minister of
Electricity (DMoE). The meeting was well attended - the Baghdad
Governor and a representative from the National Reconciliation
Committee attended for the first time. The Ministry of Oil (MoO)
briefed a report on oil smuggling and described a broken pipeline.
The Ministry of Trade (MoT) pled for the committee to take action to
remove MNF-I from Sha'ab Market. The water discussion from the
previous week continued and the committee briefly reviewed several
previous health, education and electricity recommendations. END

- - - - - -
Oil Report
- - - - - -

2. The Deputy Minister of Oil (DMoO) discussed a pipeline that was
trespassed only three hours after becoming functional. (Note: The
DMoO described the location as Taji, but later said the specific
violation or trespass occurred 30 kilometers southwest of Taji,
closer to Abu Ghraib, but in an area known as I'aesha. End Note) The
DMoE asked for grid coordinates and more specifics in the form of a
memo that will later be sent to the Baghdad Operations Command
(BOC). The memo will also ask BOC to conduct a survey in
coordination with the MoO in order to repair the pipeline. The
Deputy Minister of Defense (DMoD) questioned why the MoO did not
address this issue directly with the BOC. He noted that the MoO
Operations Room is supposed to report directly to the BOC. The DMoO
responded - "the MoO Operations Room did notify the BOC."

3. The DMoO also criticized the Provision of Services Committee for
inaction on two memos that his ministry sent forward. A February 20
memo to the Provision of Services Committee provided a list of names
of supposed oil smugglers. An earlier memo, dated January 31,
detailed concerns of missing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottles,
and particularly accused MNF-I of raiding the facilities where the
LPG bottles were stored and then taking them. (Note: Some committee
members acknowledged that MNF-I was not taking the LPG for their own
consumption, but rather local distribution. The MNF-I representative
did not have any information on the matter, but will follow-up at
next week's meeting. End Note)

4. Finally, the DMoO discussed LPG and kerosene distribution in
Sabi' al Bor. Approximately 25% of this allotment goes missing
according to the DMoO. No resolution was offered, but it appeared as
though the committee was satisfied with the results. Additionally,
the DMoO said that SOMO needs more security assets. (Note: The US
Embassy has received a copy of the oil report. It is currently being
translated. End Note)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Water Discussions Continue
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. Adding to last week's discussion on potable water, the Baghdad
Water Authority (BWA) brought maps and charts reflecting trespassing
locations. (Note: Last week's discussion involved a lengthy debate
on water trespassing. End Note) The BWA announced that they will
launch a campaign against the violations, but also an educational
campaign to discourage potable water usage for irrigation purposes.
The DMoE asked BWA for a list of specific violations. He noted that
main network violations were the responsibility of the police.

6. The BWA also conducted a survey over the course of the past week
in conjunction with the municipal offices to determine water needs
for the approaching summer months. The BWA representative provided a
list of neighborhoods that would need potable water brought in by
tankers. Former Deputy Mayor Naeim, now advisor to the Amanat, said
that the municipal offices have a cumulative total of 250 tankers.
He disliked the idea of renting additional trucks, stating that they
would not be useful, despite the committee's previous recommendation
to do so. (Note: Naeim was not in attendance at the March 4 meeting
when this was discussed. End Note) DMoE pressed the Amanat and BWA
about funding sources. The Governor said that the governorate will
pay for the tankers.

7. A representative from the National Security Advisor's office
(NSA) discussed the Ministry of Environment's (MoEnv) report on
water quality that was delivered at the February 29 I-ESC. At that
time, the MoEnv stated that 90% of water in Baghdad did not meet
acceptable water quality standards. (Note: The ITAO Senior
Consultant to Water disagreed with this report and said that of the
water quality standards that truly matter, those that affect public
health, Baghdad's water supply is 90% in compliance. Only 10% is not
in compliance with those given standards. End Note) The BWA also
said that only 10% was not in compliance or did not meet certain
standards. He said that the Ministry of Health (MoH), MoEnv and BWA
did not have standardized testing spots and methods, therefore test
results were varied.

- - - - - - -
Other Issues
- - - - - - -

BAGHDAD 00000763 002 OF 002

8. The Ministry of Trade requested that MNF-I move a forwarding
operating base (fob) from Sha'ab market in order for the Ministry to
proceed with their economic development and re-start the market. The
MNF-I representative had not heard of this issue previously. It is
expected to be on the agenda at next week's meeting.

9. The committee reviewed the previous health recommendation to pay
doctors overtime for on-call services. This initiative has still not
been financed. The DMoE instructed the Provision of Services
Committee staff members to initiate a memo to the Cabinet on this

10. The BOC reviewed the list of power stations that were in need of
additional protection, provided by the MoE. According to the BOC,
only one station needs assistance. The DMoE said that those results
were not surprising: station employees are too intimidated to
express their needs. He suggested that nearby units conduct regular
surveillance of the electricity stations.

11. Baghdad Clean-Up day was discussed again this week. The Amanat
defended their participation in the Clean-Up days, claiming that the
local municipal offices were active in the monthly event. After a
debate about their level of participation, the DMoE suggested that
representatives from the Ministries of Trade, Housing and
Reconstruction and Industries and Minerals attend the next meeting
to discuss their grievances with the Amanat. In addition, the DMoE
postponed the March 15 Clean-Up day until these issues are resolved.
The Governor did offer up 30 trucks and 10 trash vehicles for future
Clean-Up days.

12. The Ministry of Education (MoEd) will meet later this week with
the Ministry of Planning, Development and Cooperation (MoPDC) to
lobby the Investment Commission to reallocate money to pay for
school refurbishment. The meeting outcome will be briefed at next
week's Provision of Services Committee meeting.


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