Search

 

Cablegate: Afghan High Office of Oversight (Hoo) Seeks U.S. Guidance

VZCZCXRO0174
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0026/01 0041306
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041306Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4455
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3905
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000026

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

LONDON FOR S/SRAP STAFF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCOR KJUS EAID AF
SUBJECT: AFGHAN HIGH OFFICE OF OVERSIGHT (HOO) SEEKS U.S. GUIDANCE
PREPARING ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENDA FOR LONDON CONFERENCE

1. (SBU) In his second week as the new Deputy Director General for
Policy and Oversight for the HOO, Qaseem Ludin met with Ambassador
Wayne, the USAID Rule of Law Advisor and the US Embassy Rule of Law
Coordinator on January 3, 2010 to discuss the HOO's current
anti-corruption activities. Ludin discussed a proposed draft paper
for the London conference. The paper is based on recommendations
from the Afghan National Anti-Corruption Conference, along with
discussions with the international community including the UK and
the United States.

2. (SBU) According to Ludin, President Karzai does not plan to
provide specific targets or objectives at the London Conference.
Karzai's intent is to use the forum to refine principles and obtain
general agreement on a way forward that would be further developed
during the Kabul conference in the spring 2010.
Ludin said he was confused about how to proceed since the British
appear to want substantive decisions that he believes the GIRoA is
not prepared to make in London. Ludin said that such details the
British expect include the structure of the revised HOO and the
number and composition of an international oversight component.
Ludin suggested the British expectations are too advanced for the
London discussions and do not take into account the results of the
December national conference.

3. (SBU) According to comments from working-level staff in the
British Embassy to the US Embassy Rule of Law Coordinator, the UK is
seeking a substantive statement from President Karzai at the London
Conference describing the Afghan policy for combating corruption.
The statement should establish parameters which will then be
developed at the spring conference in Kabul.

4. (SBU) Ludin's proposed draft paper for President Karzai includes
a request for the international donor community to provide the
necessary financial and technical assistance to implement the Afghan
anti-corruption plan and reforms in the Kabul Conference. Ludin did
not have an estimate of the amount of financial and technical
assistance that would be needed. He has offered to work with the
U.S. and other international donors in developing details to the
Afghan proposed Anti-Corruption plan.

5. (SBU) Ludin's draft anti-corruption proposal for the London
conference includes Afghan commitments to:

A) Strengthen institutional arrangements to combat corruption by:

--Increasing institutional powers, independence and capacity with
the High Office as the lead agency.
--Change the name of the High Office of Oversight and
Anti-Corruption to the Independent High Office for Combating
Corruption;
--Providing investigative powers to the HOO and amending the Afghan
Penal Code to impose penalties for corruption offenses;
--Establishing an accountability mechanism (permissible under the
current statute pending before the Parliament) to ensure the High
Office has an independent budget that is insulated from external
influence;
--Submitting annual reports to Parliament on progress in reducing
corruption; and
--Ensuring civil society, the international community, and the media
play an active role in overseeing the High Office's activities and
anti-corruption efforts in the form of an independent and Afghan-led
Accountability Board.

B) Implement and effectively enforce asset declarations by public
officials by:

--Developing a comprehensive legal framework as part of the
amendment of the law on combating corruption, including amending the
Afghan penal code; and
--Implementing the Asset Declaration Strategy and developing a
mechanism for verifying declared assets.

C) Prevent Corruption through Public Administration Reform by:

--Simplifying and reforming "major" public administrative procedures
and service delivery processes in an effort to:
--Reducing and/or eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy and lengthy
processes government service delivery mechanisms for the public;
--Eliminating corruption vulnerabilities by streamlining services
with fewer administrative steps that minimize opportunities to
elicit bribes and where possible to eliminate cash transactions by
allowing direct-deposits;
--Strengthening government revenue collection capacity to increase
national revenues;
-- Strengthening the internal control mechanisms and internal
inspections in all government agencies; and
--Strengthening the ability of the Control and Audit office to
assist the government in identifying systems and procedural

KABUL 00000026 002 OF 002


deficiencies; and
--Publicizing reports and findings on the performance of state
agencies including cases of corruption.

6. (SBU) Ambassador Wayne and Embassy staff suggested, and Ludin
agreed, that Embassy staff work with Ludin to provide some more
specifics for the draft paper which would strengthen the
independence of the new oversight office, its powers, and the role
of inter advisor.

7. (SBU) Comment: If there is GIRoA commitment to the principles in
the HOO draft proposal, the government would be on the right track
toward meeting the minimum requirements needed to transform the HOO
to an entity with appropriate oversight and accountability. The HOO
Deputy Director asked for help in learning what and how to proceed
in developing an independent anti-corruption infrastructure with
authority to act, investigate, and prosecute. Ludin also asked for
U.S. guidance in developing the action plan as well as in its
implementation. He appears to understand the problems confronting
the HOO and at the same time he recognizes U.S. support is needed to
implement the organizations needed transformation. End Comment

RICCIARDONE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Euro-Med Monitor: Sudan Military Coup Shatters Democratic Path, Threatens With Authoritarian Rule Return
The Sudanese army's seizure of power in the country diminishes the hard-won human rights and civil gains achieved after the December 2018 protests, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in a statement...More>>


Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...
More>>

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>

Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>