Wartime Contracting team gathers data in Kuwait and Iraq
Contact: Clark Irwin, (703) 696-9362
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ARLINGTON, VA, July 21, 2009 – A team from the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has begun a 10-day, information-gathering trip to Kuwait and Iraq to examine plans for transferring or disposing of billions of dollars’ worth of contractor-acquired, government-owned property as the United States prepares its withdrawal from Iraq, and to pursue other queries.
The Commission’s June 10 Interim Report to Congress noted that more than 615,000 items of government-owned property worth more than $3 billion must be relocated, transferred to the Iraqi government, sold, or scrapped as the United States prepares to exit Iraq. "Determining the history, condition, and usefulness of this property is a huge challenge," said Commission Executive Director Robert B. Dickson, "and managing its disposition during the U.S. drawdown in Iraq will be a complicated and expensive operation. The Commission will be looking at the planning and oversight of this operation to detail both good practices and weaknesses."
The team comprises Commission member Charles Tiefer, a contract-law professor at the University of Baltimore law school and a former U.S. Senate staff counsel, and two members of the Commission staff. Their schedule includes numerous meetings and site visits in Kuwait, the logistical center for U.S. operations in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operation, and in Baghdad and other locations in Iraq.
The team will also inquire into the transition to a more competitive model for the multi-billion-dollar "LOGCAP" contract that provides goods and services to U.S. forces operating in the region, and into plans for spending $600 million of remaining funds available to field commanders for local stabilization, reconstruction, and development projects before the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30. "The team will be asking about the planning, execution, and oversight for that money," Dickson said.
Dickson said information gathered during the trip and from follow-up inquiries will further Commission research, shape future hearings, influence findings and recommendations for a final report to Congress, and – if possible wrongdoing by federal or contractor employees is observed – lead to referrals to inspectors general or other appropriate authorities.
The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan was created by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181). The CWC has a broad mandate to research and investigate federal-agency contracting for reconstruction, logistical support and security functions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eight Commissioners direct the organization’s work: Co-chairs Michael Thibault and Christopher Shays, and Commissioners Clark Kent Ervin, Grant Green, Robert Henke, Linda Gustitus, Charles Tiefer, and Dov Zakheim. Additional information, including biographical notes on the commissioners, may be found at the Commission's Web site, www.wartimecontracting.gov.