Revealed: the True Structure of the Coalition Provisional Authority
Somewhere in Washington is the Congressional Research Service. Somehow they have produced something of great awe and mystery, just in the nick of time. It is perhaps the best (only?) study of the structure of the Coalition Provisional Authority produced by the federal government. The study cannot determine if the CPA is part of the DoD, because apparently it isn't a government agency. Also the CPA essentially has to contract out its contracting in the outlying areas, because it can't manage the process... There is direct evidence of Ahmed Chalabi's cronies getting plum contracts that later failed to adequately train the Iraqi police force.
Also note closely the description of how the Secretary of Defense can control administrative functions at all levels of the CPA, but the money pots are never clear (and apparently these people can sit in Mesopotamia for a year without spending a damned dime on irrigation projects)
The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA): Origin, Characteristics, and Institutional Authorities" by L. Elaine Halchin, Congressional Research Service, April 29, 2004.
Enter this one under 'primary sources.' Wow. Credit where credit is due to the Federation of American Scientists and their Project on Government Secrecy!
Establishment of CPA
Detailed information that explicitly and clearly identifies how the authority was established, and by whom, is not readily available. Instead, there are two alternative explanations for how it was established: one version suggests that the President established CPA; the other suggests that it was established pursuant to a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council resolution. While these possibilities are not mutually exclusive, the lack of a clear, authoritative, and unambiguous statement about how this organization was established and its status (that is, is it a federal agency or not) leaves open many questions, particularly regarding the area of oversight and accountability....
....According to this excerpt, the authority is an entity of the federal government. Nonetheless, questions remain regarding how CPA was established, who established it, the precise nature of its relationship to DOD (including DOD components) and other federal entities, and whether CPA is a federal agency or some other type of government organization. Another unanswered question concerns the scope of CPA’s authority when functioning in its capacity as an entity of the U.S. government. Information provided by CPA itself indicates that its sector program management offices (SPMOs) are part of the federal government. (The CPA’s PMO is supported by six SPMOs.) In a written response to a question asked at a January 21, 2004, pre-proposal conference on contracting opportunities, the CPA stated that “the Sector Program Management Office (SPMO) is a Government entity.”
.....Lending support to the notion that the authority is not a federal agency, but instead is an amorphous international organization, are statements by the Department of the Army. In 2003, two protests were filed with the General Accounting Office (GAO) by Turkcell Consortium, which challenged CPA’s issuance of licenses for mobile telecommunications services in Iraq. GAO dismissed both protests without having to rule on the status of CPA.
Given that P.L. 108-106 and other government documents state that CPA is a U.S. government entity, the Army’s response raises questions. Arguably, the Army was concerned that some would assume, precisely because of references to the authority as a government entity, that CPA is a federal agency. Another possibility is that the Army, as the executive agent for the authority (discussed below), has assumed responsibility for certain procurement activities and tasks, such as responding to protests, and thus argued strongly for excluding CPA from the GAO protest process.
Legislative language might contribute to questions about the status of the authority. The FY2004 emergency supplemental refers to CPA as “an entity of the United States Government.” 38 In the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2004, Section 1203(b)(1) mentions “civilian groups reporting to the Secretary [of Defense], including” ORHA and CPA. 39 Section 1203(b)(3) refers to the “relationship of Department of Defense entities, including” ORHA and CPA. 40 The House report accompanying H.R. 1588 (P.L. 108-136), the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2004, in its comments on the section that became Section 1203, mentioned “Department of Defense (DOD) civilian and military activities in post-conflict Iraq.” Eschewing the word “agency” in favor of “entity,” “group,” and “activities” in legislation and congressional documents could be a reflection of the Administration’s approach, an acknowledgment that CPA’s status is uncertain, or a sign that Congress agrees that CPA is not an agency.
The following description of a DOD executive agent indicates that executive agents are assigned responsibility for DOD missions, activities, or tasks:
The Head of a DoD Component to whom the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense has assigned specific responsibilities, functions, and authorities to provide defined levels of support for operational missions, or administrative or other designated activities that involve two or more of the DoD Components. The nature and scope of the DoD Executive Agents responsibilities, functions, and authorities shall ... be prescribed at the time of assignment [and] ... remain in effect until the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense revokes or suspends them. 54
This definition would arguably cast CPA as a DOD component. A broad interpretation, though, might allow the Secretary, or Deputy Secretary, to appoint an executive agent for a non-DOD entity or even a non-governmental entity.
Another possible reason why CPA is limited to monitoring contracts may be that government officials ascertained that the authority does not have enough personnel, or enough personnel with sufficient experience in the types of work to be done in Iraq, to develop solicitations and evaluate proposals for seven major sectors, the PMO, and the SPMOs. The fact that CPA needs contractor support for its PMO and SPMOs tends to support the notion that it does not have enough resources to perform all of the necessary procurement tasks.
CPA’s award of a contract to Nour USA to equip the Iraqi armed forces and the Iraqi civil defense corps also has been the subject of protests.... In a press release dated January 31, 2004, CPA announced that it had awarded a contract for $327 million to Nour USA.
In mid-February, it was reported that two companies, Cemex Global Inc. and Bumar Group, had filed separate protests, which were combined by GAO into one protest, challenging the awarding of this contract to Nour USA. Among their concerns were (1) the relatively low cost of the Nour USA proposal, which was $231 million lower than the Bumar Group’s proposal; (2) the fact that Nour’s president is A. Huda Faouki, who allegedly is a friend of Ahmad Chalabi, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council; and (3) the belief that Nour USA, which apparently was established in May 2003, has no experience in performing the work necessary to fulfill the terms of the contract.
And the policy analysis:
Perhaps this ambiguity allows the authority to perform multiple roles, each with its own chain of command, stakeholders or constituents, funding, and accountability policies and mechanisms. A statement in the FY2004 emergency supplemental — “in its [CPA] capacity as an entity of the United State government” — suggests that U.S. government entity is only one of CPA’s roles. Other roles might include temporarily aiding in the governing of Iraq and serving as part of a coalition. Possibly, the mix of arrangements allows CPA to operate with greater discretion and more authority, and have access to more resources than if it was solely a federal agency, or an arm of the United Nations. 109 CPA personnel also might be able to work more efficiently and effectively under this mix. By operating under more than one set of laws, regulations, and policies, CPA possibly could expand the scope and reach of the organization’s authority beyond what it would be otherwise......
Potential drawbacks of this arrangement are that the lines of authority and accountability could become tangled, or even obscured. CPA personnel possibly could find it difficult to understand and delineate clearly — on a daily basis — the organization’s different roles and associated funds, laws, and rules. Personnel might be hampered by this tangle of resources, laws, and documents, and could find themselves engaging in questionable, if not unethical or criminal, activities. This scenario also could prove challenging for organizations that are attempting to monitor CPA and its activities. When the authority makes a decision or expends funds, it might not be clear to external parties under what authority it is acting. Without transparency, the CPA might give the appearance of shifting funds, personnel, and tasks among different roles. Further compounding the problem, oversight initiatives might be met with the response that the activity in question was carried out under an authority over which the oversight body — Congress — has no jurisdiction.