Wartime Contracting Commission opens offices in Iraq and Afghanistan to support its work
ARLINGTON, VA, Jan. 26, 2010 – The federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has opened two offices in the Southwest Asia theater of operations to support its work.
One office is in central Baghdad, Iraq. The other is at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, about 25 miles northeast of Kabul.
Robert B. Dickson, the Commission’s executive director, said the field offices have been established to help carry out the Commission's mandate from Congress: "Our overseas staff will be able to maintain liaison with agencies and commands in theater, fill data requests from stateside staff, directly observe events on the ground, and assist with commissioners' research visits to the region."
Dickson said the Commission has deployed one person to Iraq, with another to follow, and two to Afghanistan. “We hired experts for these overseas posts,” he said. “They have decades of experience in construction management, military contracting, development projects, policy analysis, program management, and other work that ties directly to our research areas.”
The Commission, co-chaired by Michael J. Thibault and Christopher Shays, has been conducting hearings, research, and fact-finding trips to prepare for a final report to Congress in 2011. An interim report and two special reports were submitted to Congress in 2009.
Commission staff are executing 32 detailed work plans on topics ranging from defining inherently governmental functions and examining logistics-support contracts, to identifying lessons learned and determining the extent of waste, fraud, and abuse in wartime contracting. Dickson said, “Many of the key people and records we need to complete our work plans are overseas, so the new field offices will help take us forward to findings and recommendations for our final report.”
Funding for the Commission field offices was provided in the fiscal-year 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, Public Law 111-118.
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 www.wartimecontracting.gov.