FY 2011 Budget Request for Security Assistance Programs
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Granger, and other distinguished Members of this Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the President’s FY 2011 Budget Request for the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
The INL Bureau, which I have the honor to lead, assists countries around the world in their efforts to develop their own capacity to fight crime, administer justice, and safeguard the rule of law priorities of critical interest to our own national security and foreign policy objectives. Our assistance works to develop the bedrock of civil society-- promoting safe, secure environments where laws can be enforced, rights are protected, and sustainable development can proceed. Our goal is to help our partner nations realize their own ambitions to become responsible international partners with full sovereignty over their borders and the capability to deny safe haven to international criminal threats.
INCLE programs, thanks to your support, have accomplished much to realize President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s foreign policy vision. As stewards of increasingly more taxpayer dollars for critical national security and foreign policy objectives, Madam Chairwoman and Ranking Member Granger, INL is committed to continuing our strong partnership with your Subcommittee, to continue providing effective programmatic security assistance to our international partners, and to conducting our work to the high standards you expect.
For Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the President is requesting over $2.1 billion in International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) funds to combat transnational crime and illicit threats that impact both national and global security. Of this request, only 42 percent is directly related to counternarcotics, marking a dramatic shift from FY 2009, when approximately 72 percent of FY 2009 INCLE funds were counternarcotics focused. The shift reflects growing world-wide concern for civilian security capabilities, and the transition of responsibility for a transformed police development program in Iraq from the Department of Defense to the Department of State.
The need for our security capacity building programs is growing in zones of ongoing conflict such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent days, many of the critically important results that INL programs have achieved, and continue to achieve, have been overshadowed by the challenges we have faced adapting our contract management efforts to these increasingly difficult operating environments.
Over the last several years, INL has increased its contract oversight staffing substantially, but not at the accelerated pace of growth in resources that you’ve entrusted us to manage. By necessity rather than by design, our assistance programs have at times relied extensively on contract personnel, who have been permitted to operate in environments where government personnel have in the past been much more restricted. Where our efforts can improve is in more extensively adapting our contract oversight in theaters of war where military operations and complex security requirements limit our on-the-ground staffing and our staff’s ability to safely travel to training sites. Part of my plan moving forward involves human capital investments that will lead to an increase in government oversight personnel operating in-theater and on-site at key contract locations, as well as a greater reliance on U.S. Government employees. Our contract management and financial oversight efforts not only strengthen our commitment to the American tax payers, it will give us the tools to more effectively execute our assistance programs located in every corner of the world.
In the Western Hemisphere, many of our partners continue to face considerable threats from transnational criminal and drug trafficking organizations and those organizations’ violent activities that endanger citizen safety. As Secretary Clinton has noted, the United States has a “shared responsibility” in this regard. We need to assist states with developing their internal capacities to safeguard their citizens, along with reducing drug consumption within our own borders to undermine the profitability of transnational crime.
The President’s FY 2011 budget requests your support for our programs in drug producing countries such as Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, as well as the Central American and Caribbean countries through which nearly 600 metric tons of cocaine and significant quantities of heroin and marijuana flow to the United States. The President’s FY 2011 request also includes funding for other transnational anti-crime initiatives and for critical institutional and capacity building programs to support the development of a modern, transparent, and effective judicial system to reduce corruption, and enhance the protection of human rights.
We have witnessed the flexibility of drug traffickers as they adapt to pressures and shift their transportation routes, inflicting damage along the way. As a result, our current initiatives are intended to reduce sanctuaries and limit the abilities of transnational criminal groups to adapt to these pressures. While challenges remain, our pressure on criminal organizations in Mexico and in international waters is forcing illicit actors to shift their focus into the territorial waters and lands of Central America.
Our justice sector programs in the Western Hemisphere for FY 2011 are designed to build effective partnerships that can better develop, mobilize, and sustain the security capabilities of the whole region.
An excellent example is Colombia, where the Colombian National Police, along with other Colombian government agencies have benefited from significant U.S. training and assistance. They are now at the forefront of sharing their expertise with other police forces and judicial institutions throughout the hemisphere. From 2007, Colombia participated in a U.S.-led program that trained approximately 5,800 Mexican police and judicial officials, and more than 150 police officers from 19 countries have taken part in the elite Colombian police training course. In the year ahead, we will press forward with the Central America Regional Security Initiative and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative so that our program nation partners in both regions can benefit more fully from the regional capacity that we have helped to develop.
Ten years after the start of Plan Colombia, we have also seen the people of Colombia and their government take back control of their country from the illicit actors and terrorists organizations that are fueled by the drug trade. With U.S. Government support, Colombia has expanded security into areas previously held by the FARC, disrupted the drug trade, weakened the FARC and implemented a modern oral adversarial system of criminal justice, which has provided more transparent justice and improved conviction rates from less than three percent to over 60 percent. What’s more, the U.S. Government estimates that Colombia’s maximum potential production of pure cocaine dropped 39 percent in 2008 and that cultivation dropped by 29 percent. Colombia’s interdiction capacity also continues to grow. In 2009, Colombia seized a record 288 metric tons of cocaine and coca base. While much has improved in Colombia over the last ten years, challenges remain. Criminal organizations involved in the drug trade remain violently active, Colombian security forces need to improve their protection of human rights, and the rule of law must be embedded in rural and conflict areas of the country.
In FY 2011, our program will focus on addressing these issues by further developing the capacity of Colombian institutions to consolidate and expand the achievements in democracy and security. This will include enhancing the capability of rural police, expanding the reach of judicial institutions and supporting Colombian-led interdiction and eradication programs that are closely coordinated with alternative development.
As you can see from the Colombia FY 2011 budget request, we have been working to “nationalize” our efforts in Colombia, i.e., transfer to Colombian institutions additional financial and operational responsibility for many programs. We will work closely with the Government of Colombia on further areas to nationalize, but need to do so in a measured, coordinated manner. Our successes in Colombia are also paying dividends throughout the region. The Government of Colombia is currently providing significant counter-drug, criminal investigative, and other training to Mexico under a Mexico-Colombia bilateral cooperation program. This presents an important leveraging of our assistance to our regional and global partners contending with similar problems, all of which affect our national security interests.
Mexico has taken bold steps to confront increasingly violent drug trafficking organizations, and U.S.-Mexican cooperation is close and productive. Our FY 2011 assistance request of $292 million will support efforts to build police and judicial institutions, counter corruption, assist in the reform of border control, reinforce the rule of law through judicial reform, and help transform Mexico’s corrections systems. Perhaps most ambitious and most important, Mexico is transforming its judicial sector to a system of oral adversarial trials similar to what has taken place in Colombia. Our assistance will include extensive training for prosecutors and judges in furtherance of this goal.
To provide robust inspection capability, we have provided non-intrusive inspection equipment for both border ports of entry and for interior checkpoints that Mexico uses in the search for illegal drugs, money, and weapons. In FY 2011, we also aim to improve the vetting of Mexico’s law enforcement personnel, help reform and improve the Government of Mexico’s management of its correction systems, upgrade law enforcement communications to promote connectivity and maintain operational integrity, and provide protective gear for Mexican police who contend with organized crime. We will also continue to work with Mexico on a special plan for Ciudad Juarez to provide greater security for that city’s citizens.
Our programs in Central America have also achieved much on which we aim to build further. In 2009, with our support, Mexico and Central America interdicted over 124 metric tons of cocaine and over 18 metric tons of crack, heroin, ephedrine, or pseudoephedrine, seized roughly $24 million in suspect funds, and arrested or detained over 91,332 individuals on drug-related crimes. In FY 2011, we plan to focus on building capacity and providing equipment and technical assistance to the justice sector – police, prosecutors, judges, and corrections – to deal with the trafficking of drugs and arms, money laundering, and violence against citizens. We will also continue to work with Central American governments to break up criminal gangs, some with reach into the United States as well as from the United States, institute programs for youth at risk, and support crime and violence prevention initiatives such as community policing.
For Guatemala in FY 2011, we plan to continue to provide counternarcotics air mobility support to the government’s effort to exercise greater control in remote areas and clamp down on violence spurred by inter-cartel fighting, which has deeply impacted Guatemalan communities.
Afghanistan and Pakistan
INCLE programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan aim to lay the foundation for lasting change in the region. But the situation on the ground in both nations is sobering and while much has been accomplished, much work lies ahead. For FY 2011, the President’s budget request will broaden INL’s support and engagement at the provincial and district levels of Afghanistan for counternarcotics and rule of law programs, and continue to build capacity within the Government to sustain and support these initiatives. In Pakistan, funds will be used for border security, law enforcement, and judicial system programs. In FY 2011, the total budget request for all Afghanistan programs is $450 million, and $140 million for Pakistan programs.
The President’s request includes $240.6 million to support counternarcotics programs that will reduce opium poppy cultivation and demand, as well as increasing the capacity of the government of Afghanistan to reduce supply, provide treatment options for addicts, and conduct law enforcement operations to interdict drugs and target traffickers. Included in this request is $5 million to support the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime’s cultivation, verification and assessment surveys to communicate the motives behind illicit cultivation, opiate trade, and the impact of alternative development programs, and $100 million to support INL’s aviation support for all of our programs in Afghanistan. Funds will be used to operate and maintain existing aircraft, not for aircraft acquisition. We are also requesting $48.6 million to increase the size and operational infrastructure of the Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan’s specialized interdiction units and to provide interdiction training for partner nations in Afghanistan including those from Central Asia.
Our counternarcotics efforts also include critical support for demand reduction programs to allow the Government of Afghanistan to assist its citizens in combating addiction. We are requesting $14 million to expand Afghanistan’s treatment capacity, including specialized programs for women and children. With your support, we expect an expansion from 16 to 32 residential drug treatment centers in the upcoming year, as well as the start-up of a clinical trial to develop and implement the first treatment protocols worldwide for drug-addicted children (infancy to seven years). The President’s budget also requests $8 million for another critical element of supply and demand reduction in Afghanistan; public information campaigns. In FY 2011, we plan to support a Counternarcotics Public Information program, which will provide training for local government officials on anti-drug messaging, and public information campaigns tailored for local leaders, farmers, women and youth. $20 million has also been requested for the Counter Narcotics Advisory Teams (CNAT), which build capacity at provincial levels to support governors’ counternarcotics campaigns in seven provinces, monitor demand reduction activities, and providing outreach to women and youth groups.
Beyond our counternarcotics programs, the President’s request also includes $190 million for administration of INL’s criminal justice programs in Afghanistan to strengthen institutions, train practitioners, develop Afghan judicial capacity, secure prisons, protect citizen rights, combat corruption, build linkages with Afghanistan’s traditional justice system, and develop leadership capacity for the future. Of this request, $73 million is for the Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP), which provides training and mentoring at provincial and district levels to prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and investigators on issues such as anticorruption, counternarcotics justice and the judicial response to major crimes. The JSSP will also develop alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for use throughout Afghanistan and will conduct conferences focused on human rights, women’s legal rights, domestic violence, and constitutional rights throughout Afghanistan. The JSSP will also work to further develop in house training programs such as human resources capabilities so that our efforts and training yield programs that can be sustained by the Afghans. INL is working alongside the interagency as well as military partners to ensure that INL funded programs and activities are closely aligned and coordinated with USG activities to support the development of the justice sector in Afghanistan.
The FY 2011 budget also includes $10 million to provide training, technical assistance, and operational security for prosecutors and judges handling Afghanistan’s national security cases which are of particular interest to the United States Government; $12 million for anticorruption training initiatives; and $15 million in grants which will be awarded to NGOs and other civil society organizations that advance public awareness of legal rights throughout Afghanistan, including especially designed programs for women and minority populations. Critically important to the development and sustainability of Afghanistan’s criminal justice system is a humane and secure corrections system for men, women, and juveniles. INCLE programs will support further development of Afghanistan’s criminal justice systems toward these goals with $80 million in FY 2011 funding. Beyond infrastructure development and central corrections program guidance, INL will also deploy corrections mentors to virtually all provinces to assist Afghan leadership with their corrections programs and help them to implement critical deradicalization, reintegration, and rehabilitation programs.
The President’s budget also includes a request of $140 million for our critical programs in Pakistan. Of this amount, $42.5 million is for Pakistan’s border security operations, including the operation and maintenance of the Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior Air Wing comprised of U.S. Government owned rotary and fixed wing aircraft. $83 million is for provincial law enforcement and justice training programs has also been requested. Law enforcement funds will be used to continue the provision of training and resources to civilian law enforcement units in Islamabad, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the provinces of Balochistan, Punjab, and Sindh. Resources will focus on female police training, civil disorder response units and police reform initiatives. Funding will also support rule of law programs to continue and expand training and technical assistance for prosecutors, judges, and other members of the criminal justice system in Pakistan.
In FY 2011, $9.5 million will be dedicated to counternarcotics programs in Pakistan. This includes training and resources to enhance interdiction efforts; support to help maintain the operational tempo of law enforcement entities with counternarcotics mandates; the fostering of legitimate high-value crops as an alternative to poppy; and road construction and small infrastructure schemes in current and former opium poppy cultivation areas. INCLE programs for FY 2011 also include demand reduction efforts through local outreach and drug treatment centers.
Near East (including Iraq)
Based on a comprehensive U.S. interagency assessment of Yemen’s criminal justice sector conducted last October, INL is working to develop a comprehensive program for strengthening the government’s ability to police and maintain security over its territory. We aim to continue our work through the multilateral donor coordination framework, the Friends of Yemen Justice and Rule of Law Working Group, to equitably share the burden of criminal justice sector development with partners.
In the West Bank and Gaza, INL is working to strengthen the Palestinian Authority (PA) Security Forces consistent with conditions agreed to under the Roadmap. We are currently providing training, non-lethal equipment, and infrastructure support to enable the civilian police and the PA security forces maintain law and order throughout the West Bank. We hope to use FY 2011 funds to increase the pace of training and equipping the National Security Forces and to add rule of law programs that have been requested by the Palestinians.
Throughout the region, INL contributes towards the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), a multi-faceted, multi-year strategy aimed at defeating both terrorist and criminal organizations, by strengthening regional counterterrorism capabilities, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region's security forces, promoting democratic governance, and reinforcing bilateral military ties with the U.S. Government. The President’s FY 2011 budget requests support of TSCTP to provide training, technical assistance, and equipment with a particular emphasis on counterterrorism objectives.
U.S. national security and strategic interests throughout the Near East are intrinsically linked with the future of Iraq. Continued assistance to the Iraqi civilian police forces is vital to supporting Iraq’s future as a nation governed by the rule of law rather than sectarian elements – conditions which protect U.S. interests in the region.
Over the past several years the Department of Defense has assisted the Iraqi Security Forces and made great progress in building basic level policing capacity and skills to address counterinsurgency threats. As our relationship with Iraq transitions with the drawdown of U.S. military troops, continuing to support the development of the Iraqi police remains critical to Iraq’s future stability and to achieving the Administration’s vision of a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq. With basic security improved, the Government of Iraq (GOI) has asked for additional civilian-led assistance focusing on advanced skills training and strengthened police capability at senior levels of leadership. The Department of State and INL will assume responsibility for police development in Iraq from DoD on October 1, 2011. This civilian program will promote the rule of law in Iraq by supporting the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI) in its progress towards becoming a self-sufficient organization that supports and protects the rule of law and is the primary provider of internal security in Iraq.
This new civilian-led program will include 350 U.S. Government and contracted subject matter expert advisors, many of whom are current or former Federal, State, and local police officers from the United States. They will be based out of three program hubs in Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil. Working on mobile advisory teams, these advisors will travel by air and ground to provide consulting and advising services to senior levels of the GOI at approximately 50 field locations including the MOI, agency headquarters, police colleges and academies, and regional and provincial police headquarters on topics that include: strategic planning, management, budgeting, advanced investigatory skills, and police curriculum development. Rather than focusing on increasing the numbers of basic recruits, the INL-led program will concentrate on building senior leaders’ capacity to effectively manage and sustain the full range of MOI and policing operations.
This program will have broad geographic and functional coverage throughout the country and reach the largest possible cross section of senior officials at important Iraqi police institutions. At its conclusion, the program will enable civilian police forces to assume full responsibility for Iraq’s internal security and provide senior leadership with the management, leadership and technical skills to effectively administer criminal justice sector responsibilities.
The requested $517.4 million in the FY 2010 Supplemental and $294.6 million in the FY 2011 based budget request will provide for necessary start-up requirements and an initial three months of operations after which FY 2012 funds are expected to be available. We will seek appropriate GOI contributions which may include personnel support, equipment, and no-cost leases of land and facilities. State will not provide any equipment to the Government of Iraq as part of the police development program.
Additionally, the FY 2010 Supplemental and FY 2011 Budget Requests will fund the full range of a fully-functioning criminal justice system that supports the Government of Iraq’s objective of a stable, secure, self reliant and independent nation governed by the rule of law. We will assist the GOI in developing a criminal justice system that contributes to stability and is sufficiently effective and fair that Iraqi citizens will turn to courts and other government institutions, rather than to violent militias and other “alternative” forms of justice, to resolve disputes and seek justice. Our courts program focuses on the establishment and development of court administration, judicial capacity building, and judicial security through such programs as training judicial protection personnel (a U.S. Marshals-type force); continuing legal education and training in criminal investigations, criminal case preparation, and case management to judges, judicial investigators, prosecutors, and court administrators; connecting the courts, police and prisons through a case management database; and providing legislative assistance with the drafting of legislation relating to the judiciary and criminal law and procedure and providing Rule of Law Advisors at U.S. Government posts across Iraq. Support to corrections will focus on supporting advisors to the GOI’s Iraqi Corrections System at the upper administrative level, in the areas of correctional management, human rights and inmate rehabilitation, and we will provide subject matter expertise to the Embassy.
Additionally, FY 2011 funds for drug demand reduction will help the GOI develop a nation-wide demand reduction strategy in coordination with physicians and public health practitioners. The plan will draw on the influence of leaders in local religious, educational, and community institutions.
INCLE programs in Africa bolster law enforcement agencies and promote the rule of law-two necessary elements for the realization of shared U.S. and African goals for security and development. The President’s requested funding in FY 2011 will support programs in various African countries to combat narco-trafficking, counter terrorist operations, bolster civilian law enforcement capabilities, develop border security capacity, address sexual and gender based violence, and combat organized crime and corruption.
Drug trafficking through West Africa has increased dramatically and is a threat to regional stability and INCLE programs are a key element in the U.S. Government’s response. For example, in 2005 an estimated 1 percent of the global cocaine supply transited West Africa but since 2005, that share has increased to almost 17 percent. The vast majority of the cocaine transiting West Africa goes to Europe. However the proceeds – believed to be as much as $450 million a year – flow to the same drug trafficking organizations that move cocaine to the United States. Trafficking also threatens stability in West Africa. Guinea-Bissau, the most affected state in the region thus far, is in real danger of degenerating into a narco-state. In a region with a history of instability, weak governance structures, and endemic corruption, Guinea-Bissau could become a harbinger of what may happen to its neighbors.
The FY 2011 INCLE request will support the interagency agreement that U.S. Government counternarcotics assistance in West Africa should build host government capacity to effectively counter drug trafficking organizations. We recognize that our European partners have a particular operational interest in interdiction, which complements the U.S. Government focus on developing institutions capable of responding to complex transnational crime.
In Liberia, INCLE assistance has greatly increased stability, and continued support is important to sustain the development of a formal justice system there, in anticipation of the drawdown of the United Nation’s Mission in Liberia in 2012. The President’s request will enable INCLE-funded advisors to continue their efforts to train, equip, and mentor Liberian police, including the newly developed Emergency Response Unit, and justice sector institutions that support institutional reform and enhanced capacity.
In Sudan, our programs are of critical importance toward maintaining peace and security leading up to the 2010 national elections and the 2011 referendum on Southern Sudan’s statehood. INCLE programs currently assist Southern Sudanese police, judicial and corrections institutions, directly and through the United Nations Mission in Sudan with training and equipment to enhance their operational effectiveness. Additionally, we continue to help to maintain a safe and secure environment in Darfur by equipping and training the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) police units who provide critical protection for civilians.
INCLE programs are a core activity in building basic policing skills to combat terrorism under the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and East Africa Regional Security Initiative (EARSI). Developing general policing capabilities in TSCTP and EARSI member states builds law enforcement and border control services with the capacity to investigate and dismantle criminal and terrorist groups, interdict trafficking and smuggling, manage crime scenes, and cooperate with regional and USG law enforcement agencies in investigations of complex transnational crimes.
Many of our security and judicial assistance programs are implemented through bilateral partnerships, but more still are realized through close partnerships with regional organizations and other multilateral partners. In FY 2011, INCLE global programs will help to combat transnational crime and illicit threats such as corruption, money laundering, cybercrime, alien smuggling, organized crime, criminal gangs, and illicit networks; and provide peacekeeping training in addition to and beyond what I’ve discussed in my regional overview of the President’s budget request. Our programs also work with international partners to help develop internationally recognized policy frameworks and standards on crime and provide assistance in meeting those standards worldwide. For example, we will continue to support global efforts to combat organized crime through implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (and its three protocols against human trafficking and migrant smuggling and trafficking in firearms) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). These international instruments, along with the three United Nations counter-drug conventions, create a broad legal framework for mutual legal assistance, extradition, and law enforcement cooperation. FY 2011 funds will also allow us to pursue greater cooperation with international organizations and groups such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Organization of American States, the European Union, and the Financial Action Task Force and its regional sub-groups.
Our global programs will continue to make prevention and treatment a priority in FY 2011, including pursuing efforts to reduce drug use, related crime, and drug-related threats posed by drug use methods that lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS. We plan to support sub-regional demand reduction training centers, regional/global knowledge exchange forums, drug-free community coalitions, research/demonstration program development, and initiatives to increase and improve drug treatment services for women.
The FY 2011 budget request’s your continued support for our existing International Law Enforcement Academies in Bangkok, Budapest, Gaborone, Roswell, San Salvador and the Regional Training Center in Lima. We also plan to continue our work to establish the Regional Security Training Center in West Africa. The center will strengthen law enforcement and counter-terrorism efforts by creating an infrastructure for capacity building, information-sharing and coordination among strategic African nations.
INCLE global programs also include our Aviation program which I’ve discussed at times throughout this testimony. This program comprises 240 active aircraft in eight countries to that provide safe, professional aviation services that facilitate counternarcotics and other law enforcement related missions. Many of our security and judicial capacity-building programs could not be administered without this support due to extended distances, lack of infrastructure such as road networks, slow alternative forms of transportation, security hazards, and other logistical challenges in many of our program countries. Critical functions provided or enabled by air assets include eradication, interdiction, reconnaissance/surveillance, logistical movement, and transport of key personnel to mission locations. Our Interregional Aviation Support program provides support from Patrick Air Force Base to make the country programs possible. While outside the scope of the INCLE budget request, the INL Airwing also manages and supports, with D&CP funding, aviation programs in support of our Embassies in Baghdad and Kabul. We manage these programs jointly in these countries to promote maximum economy and efficiency.
We also plan to strengthen our Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law Programs (CIV) to continue the expansion of our USG post-conflict police and criminal justice programs, and assist those already in operation. In 2008, our CIV programs provided immediate support to the Georgia crisis and in 2010, the Haiti earthquake, by deploying seasoned police and criminal justice experts to the field within weeks of the crisis. To strengthen this function, the CIV office is in the process of hiring additional police, corrections and criminal justice development experts, both through INCLE-funded positions and through funding provided for the Civilian Response Corps Active Component. We are also building oversight capacity for a mandatory pre-deployment training program, which provides a comprehensive training regimen for all of our advisors deployed to the field.
Oversight and Management
We have implemented a series of improvements to refine our contract oversight and management. Since more than half of INL’s annual contract activity occurs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bureau established an integrated business model in April 2006 to manage and oversee our contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan. In conjunction with the contracting officer, this model involves three main components: program officers, contracting officer’s representative (COR) and COR staff; and in-country contracting officer’s representatives (ICORs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
INL’s contact management oversight team for both countries consists of 87 staff, including 27 program officers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Washington who provide program direction and policy oversight and monitor our contractors’ performance. Currently, seven ICORs each in Iraq and Afghanistan provide contract oversight in the field, with more ICORs coming on board in the coming months, and the COR and twenty-eight COR staff in Washington are dedicated to conduct contract support oversight and administration from the U.S. This arrangement – with Washington providing much greater and more involved support than we would in a peacetime environment – has been developed to deal with the unique challenges of ramping up capacity while conflict continued.
As we have refined our contract management oversight, we have strengthened Statements of Work (SOW) with additional contract accountability tools and increased opportunities to compete the contracts. For example, INL incorporated Quality Assurance Surveillance Plans (QASP) in the current Iraq and Afghanistan task orders. These plans allow us to better evaluate whether contract deliverables and performance comply with the contracted statements of work. We do this through site evaluations, inspections, and representative sample reviews.
As the Civilian Police base contract comes up for renewal, we at INL are broadening our acquisitions strategy for major requirements to encourage competition. We are working to continually improve our processes and plans to enhance our efforts even further with additional staffing in-country.
We will complete standard operating procedures for the ICORs as well for domestic contract management oversight support personnel involved with the Iraq and Afghanistan task orders, by June 30, 2010. The standard operating procedures will be tailored so they can be used for all of our contract management efforts moving forward.
We are also applying the lessons we have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan to our oversight and management for the Merida Initiative and its successor programs, in an effort to increase transparency and accountability. We standardized management processes and controls as well as centralized the financial management function of all Merida Initiative posts. We made a point to properly staff the initiative up front, establish systematic program and contract oversight, and put in place an internal audit function, which we are expanding bureau-wide by May 2010, beginning with tests of our management controls for Afghanistan and Iraq.
We are committed to improving our business process and systems to conduct effectively our due diligence over the public funds entrusted to the bureau.
Madam Chairwoman, the successes our assistance programs have achieved, and our widely recognized expertise in law enforcement and criminal justice programs is due to our people, their knowledge, and their hard work. Building on the recommendations for improvement from the oversight community and this Subcommittee, we hope soon also to be recognized for our agility and proficiency in contract management and oversight, too. Given the growing importance of security sector assistance to our nation’s foreign policy, we can and will more effectively adapt to battlefield environments so that our contract management and oversight activities can be fully carried out to the degree expected by taxpayers and this Subcommittee. Thank you again for your support, Madam Chairwoman. I would be happy to address any questions the Subcommittee may have.