Commission on Wartime Contracting

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NOTE: This hearing has been postponed because of a weather alert.
A subsequent release will provide revised details.

Wartime Contracting hearing will probe coordination of reconstruction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan

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ARLINGTON, VA, Jan. 29, 2010 – The federal Commission on Wartime Contracting will conduct a hearing in Washington, DC, on Feb. 5 to examine “An Urgent Need: Coordinating Reconstruction and Stabilization in Contingency Operations.”

The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The commission has requested testimony from representatives of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the RAND Corp., and the International Crisis Group, a private, Brussels-based international organization.

Commission co-chair Michael Thibault said, “The United States, its coalition allies, international organizations, and non-governmental entities are spending billions of dollars to stabilize, rebuild, and develop Iraq and Afghanistan. All too often, a lack of coordination and visibility into these efforts leads to duplication, gaps, and waste of money. We want to learn more about how federal agencies cooperate among themselves and with other organizations to make our efforts as efficient and effective as possible.”

Co-chair Christopher Shays said, “As a former Peace Corps volunteer and former chairman of a House oversight committee, I appreciate the challenge of implementing projects in less-developed countries. But we need better planning and coordination of efforts to avoid building roads that won’t be maintained, hospitals that can’t be staffed, and power plants that can’t be repaired by local people. Eight years into our Southwest Asia operations, we still don’t have a central data bank of all the projects.”

The co-chairs said the Feb. 5 hearing will examine reconstruction and stabilization roles and responsibilities; planning and cooperation across U.S. government agencies, coalition partners, non-governmental organizations, and host-nation communities; synchronization of Department of Defense Commanders’ Emergency Response Program (CERP) projects with similar USAID and Department of State projects; and consideration of sustainability by host governments when assessing potential projects.

Congress created the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008 (Public Law 110-181) to examine contingency contracting for reconstruction, logistics, and security functions, and to recommend improvements. In addition to Thibault and Shays, members are Clark Kent Ervin, Grant Green, Robert Henke, Katherine Schinasi, Charles Tiefer, and Dov Zakheim.

More information and links to Commission reports at on the Web at

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