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Cablegate: Reforming Usg Technical Assistance for the Office of The

VZCZCXRO5632
PP RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0596/01 0481241
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171241Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5658
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000596

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EFIN ECON PREL AF
SUBJECT: REFORMING USG TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE
PRESIDENT, HIGH OFFICE OF OVERSIGHT, AND MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Mission is developing a new, coordinated
approach for providing salary support and technical assistance to
key Ministries and offices of the Government of the Islamic Republic
of Afghanistan (GIRoA). We are designing programs to reduce
ministerial stove-piping and enhance the GIRoA's ability to
harmonize the activities of Ministries and independent agencies. We
are also working with other donors to ensure we maximize the
positive impact of our assistance and avoid duplication of effort.
The USG is developing three new technical assistance programs for:
(i) the Office of the President (OoP), including the Office of
Administrative Affairs (OAA) and the Office of the National Security
Council (ONSC); (ii)the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA); and(iii)
the High Office of Oversight (HOO). In addition, a fourth
mechanism, developed in coordination with the Ministry of Finance,
will provide salary support directly to the GIRoA. All the new
programs will support elements of the GIRoA that are responsible for
inter-ministerial coordination. END SUMMARY.

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----------
BACKGROUND
----------

2. (SBU) Four new programs will support Ministries and agencies that
serve an interagency coordination role within the GIRoA. The goal
of these assistance programs will be to support key institutions
which will produce tangible results over the next 12-18 months,
while also building the capacity of mid-level staff on the Tashkeel
(the authorized personnel structure) to ensure that our institution
building efforts are sustainable and will last beyond the U.S.
civilian uplift and increase in financial support.

3. (SBU) USG assistance to the OoP, MoFA and HOO has been provided
through USAID's cooperative agreement with the Asia Foundation since
2001. The activities under this agreement included technical
advisory support, salary supplements, operational expenses, and
emergency surge support to respond to immediate needs. This
agreement expired on January 31, 2010, but a portion of the program
was extended to continue funding technical advisors in the HOO until
March 31, 2010. While the old program had positive impact, itct positions in the ONSC, OAA and
the HOO will be supported if this joint panel can reach consensus on
the positions. Priority will be given for senior and mid-level
positions that: i) contribute to inter-ministerial policy-making,
ii) support interagency processes, and iii) provide coordination,
communications, and record keeping functions that help with
inter-ministerial coordination.

--------------------------------
HIGH OFFICE OF OVERSIGHT PROGRAM
--------------------------------

6. (SBU) The USG is looking at alternative ways to support the HOO
national advisors currently paid by the Asia Foundation, by either
placing the advisors onto the Tashkeel or transferring them to
UNDP's Accountability and Transparency (ACT) program. Future USG
support to HOO will focus on building HOO capacity to carry out its
mandate to support and oversee the development of sectoral and
institutional anti-corruption strategies and action plans focusing
on both corruption prevention and anti-corruption enforcement,
ensure better coordination and efficiency of anti-corruption

KABUL 00000596 002 OF 002


efforts, and initiate anti-corruption reforms. Activities will
include building HOO technical capacity in priority areas (asset
declaration, complaints, case tracking, monitoring and reporting,
etc.); developing a long-term institutional development and
sustainability plan, as well as a strategic action plan for leading
and monitoring Afghan anti-corruption efforts; developing and
implementing a plan to regionalize the HOO; and increasing HOO's
ability to publicize its work and raise awareness of anticorruption
issues. A concept paper has been developed in consultation with
HOO, the U.S. Rule of Law/Anti-Corruption team, USAID, and other
donors. The final scope of work will be drafted by March 31. We
expect to have a new program in place by the end of May.

-------------------------------
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT PROGRAM
-------------------------------

7. (SBU) The OoP program will focus on the OAA and the ONSC. The
OAA provides direct administrative support to the President and
ensures that executive policies and procedures are followed and that
official Presidential documents are available to ministries,
parliament, and the public. The ONSC directs national security
policy and strategy formulation, ensures the President is well
informed on national security matters and during crises, and
administers the national security decision-making processes and
structures. The goal of the OoP program will be to help the OoP
ensure integrated, transparent, proactive, and corruption-free
governance in conformity with GIRoA laws and regulations.
Activities will focus around workforce development, systems
development, and technical assistance.

8. (SBU) USAID is coordinating with POL and POL-MIL to develop an
inventory of existing support to the OAA and ONSC to ensure that the
new program complements the work of other donors and the military.
The civ-mil Executive Working Group (EWG) recently tasked the
POL-MIL counselor to lead efforts to coordinate policy and
administrative support to the ONSC, assuming responsibility for the
effort that had on an ad hoc basis been led by USFOR-A's L/EMB
office. A full-time USAID team composed of a U.S. Direct Hire and a
Foreign Service National are meeting regularly with GIRoA officials
who have been designated to represent GIRoA interests in the
development of this program. A scope of work will be drafted by
March 31 and a new program should be in play by the end of May.

-----------------------------------
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PROGRAM
-----------------------------------

9. (SBU) New program development in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
has been delayed because of Cabinet and management changes within
the Ministry and the Ministry's preoccupation with the January 28
London Conference. In January, Minister Zalmay Rassoul, formerly
the National Security Advisor (who direct the activities of the
ONSC), was confirmed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. USAID and the
Political and Economic Sections will work together to develop an
appropriate project with the MoFA that focuses on regional
cooperation, staff capacity building, and regional economic affairs.
A scope of work will be developed by March 31 and a new program
should be in place by the end of May.

EIKENBERRY

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