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Cablegate: Anti-Corruption Effort Gaining Traction

VZCZCXRO9919
PP RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #1973 2130431
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310431Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4935
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SCURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 001973

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, S/CRS
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CG CJTF-101, POLAD, JICCENT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV AF
SUBJECT: ANTI-CORRUPTION EFFORT GAINING TRACTION

1. (U) President Karzai and his team have taken several
positive steps to combat corruption in the wake of the Paris
Donors Conference, including publishing a comprehensive
anti-corruption strategy and establishing a wholly new
watch-dog office against future corruption. Encouragingly, a
June 2008 World Bank review described Afghanistan's public
financial management system as better than average for
low-income countries, and, in some areas, better than average
for middle-income countries.

---------------------------------
AFTER THE PARIS DONORS CONFERENCE
---------------------------------

2. (U) The Azimi Commission delivered its report to Karzai
in mid-July. The 200-page report comprehensively describes
the problem of governmental corruption, identifies remedies,
assigns remedial responsibilities to ministries and agencies,
and sets target dates for corrective actions. The report is
the GIROA's anti-corruption strategy.

3. (SBU) Karzai last week decreed the "High Office for
Monitoring" law. It authorizes the High Office of Monitoring
the Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy, which
includes special tribunals and designated anti-corruption
prosecutors. A July 28 implementation decree established the
office and, simultaneously, disestablished the totally
ineffective General Independent Administration for
Anti-Corruption (GIACC).

--------
ON-GOING
--------

4. (SBU) Measures initiated by the Afghan government prior
to Paris:

-- The Ministry of Finance has increased its Internal Audit
Department staff from 18 in 2005 to 127. New staff are
trained in basic accounting and auditing, and supervised by
qualified auditors.

-- Over the past several months, Karzai has replaced the most
corrupt and ineffective third of the Ministry of Interior's
senior leadership and decided to rationalize the Afghan
National Police chain of command to facilitate supervision of
mid-level officials' performance and probity.

-- The Independent Directorate for Local Governance has
introduced personal probity and technical competence as
criteria for the selection of governors.

-- In 2007, the Supreme Court adopted the Regulation of
Judicial Conduct, the country's first modern code of ethics.
WOOD

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