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Cablegate: Prt Tikrit: Moving Governance Forward in Salah Ad

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #4311/01 3251209
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211209Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8119
INFO RHEHWSR/WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 004311

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM EAID IZ
SUBJECT: PRT TIKRIT: MOVING GOVERNANCE FORWARD IN SALAH AD
DIN

REF: BAGHDAD 3946

1. (U) This is a PRT Tikrit, Salah ad Din cable.

2. (SBU) Institution of democratic principals and processes
in the provincial government of Salah ad Din (SaD) hinges
on the proper separation of powers between the Governor and
the Provincial Council. At present, the relationship
between these two branches of the provincial government is
largely driven by personalities. We see the following
initiatives as key to defining the independent roles of
each branch of the provincial government, increasing
transparency and accountability, and helping make elected
leaders answerable to their constituents. The PRT intends
to focus its governance resources on these initiatives.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
Instituting Rules and Procedures in the Provincial Council
--------------------------------------------- -------------

3. (SBU) Institution of internal rules and procedures in
the Provincial Council (PC) is crucial for normalizing the
council's operations, decision-making process,
transparency, and accountability. At present, the PC does
not hold regular meetings, take minutes, or record
votes.

4. (SBU) The PC legal committee drafted internal rules and
procedures two years ago, but they were never implemented.
The PC, in conjunction with the PRT, recently updated the
rules, and the PC plans to vote on their implementation at
its next meeting. The PRT is also working with the ISF to
ensure the safe passage of members to the meetings, as
security has previously prevented members from traveling to
Tikrit to attend meetings. (NOTE: Copies of the PC's
internal rules and procedures are available at the website
listed in para 12. END NOTE.)

--------------------------------------------- --------
Holding Regular Meetings between DGs and the Governor
--------------------------------------------- --------

5. (SBU) Holding regular meetings between the Ministries
Directors General (DG) and the Governor and Deputy Governor
is important to ensure that the Governor has proper
oversight of the DGs' operations and that the DGs are fully
informed of the provincial government's priorities.
Currently, the communication gap that exists between the
Governor and the DGs prevents municipal services from
effectively reaching SaD residents.

6. (SBU) The PRT is working to establish regular meetings
between the Governor's office and the DGs, but the
initiative has been met with some opposition. The DGs have
been very supportive of holding the regular meetings.

--------------------------------------------- -
Establishing Rules and Procedures for the PRDC
--------------------------------------------- -

7. (SBU) Establishing rules and procedures for the PC's
Provincial Reconstruction and Development Committee (PRDC),
SaD's primary decision-making body on reconstruction and
large capital projects, is vital to guaranteeing that
reconstruction money is spent properly and that projects
are allocated and contracted fairly. Presently, the PRDC
has no internal rules, making the project decision-making
process opaque and inconsistent.

8. (SBU) The PRT will be working with the PRDC to draft
internal rules and procedures and to work them through the
approval process. We intend to use Economic Support Funds
(ESF) to encourage this process. ESF monies will also
provide the committee its initial funding in FY 2007 and
ensure that the established procedures work effectively.
With the ESF monies working to streamline the PRDC's
operations, the committee should be ready for its full
funding when it arrives from the GOI later in 2007.

-----------------------------------------
Increasing the Information Flow to the PC
-----------------------------------------

9. (SBU) Increasing the flow of information from the DGs to
the PC is essential for the PC to make proper funding and
policy decisions. At present, the PC receives little
information about the status of service delivery and
project implementation.

10. (SBU) This problem is two-fold. The Governor does not
provide the information from the DGs, and the PC does not

ask for it. As a first step for increasing the information
flow, the PRT has helped the provincial government create a
project database that records projects, descriptions, and
status (both financial and engineering). The PRT is also
working with the Governor to ensure that information is
available and with the PC to inform members about how this
information is necessary.

-------
Comment
-------

11. (SBU) We believe that regularizing procedures will be
an important tool in ensuring transparency and
accountability. The overall positive response we have
received from our interlocutors bodes well for improved
functioning of the provincial government, although the
proof will only be seen after several months of use. END
COMMENT.

12. (U) For additional reporting from PRT Tikrit, Salah ad
Din, please see our SIPRNET Reporting Blog:
http://blogs.csp.sgov.gov/blojsom/blog/ salahaddin/.
KHALILZAD

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