November 29, 2003

Bake it from scratch...

From Deeds blog, a look at some of the frustrations of the CPA:

....For example, we need ID cards, like our drivers' licenses, for our 50K+ Facilities Protection Service (FPS) guards, and the 65K+ Iraqi Police. (The list continues but we'll start with these individuals.) We need to buy the machines that are used to make the cards, which requires that we obtain the funds to pay for the machines. Can't use Iraqi money per CPA mandate. So, we have to use CPA money. That will take at least 90 days to process. Okay, working on that.

Now, how many machines do we need? Someone must call the FPS to find out exactly how many guards are located where. FPS doesn't have permanent offices from which a quick report with the information can be generated.

How do we call them? Use cell phones. We just got 100 cell phones and are trying to link up with the appropriate Iraqis to hand them out.

Before handing them out, however, FPS wants us to make sure they have authority to do so, in writing, from their Ministry of Interior (MoI). Okay--but MoI needs a policy decision made by the CPA Senior Advisor to the MoI. All right, another step.

And this step must go through all 25 CPA Senior Advisors for approval and comment. (Okay, I "cheated" and did this before the ID card requirement was an issue.)

Now I have to wait to get it signed. And wait. While we are waiting, the foreign embassies tell us they want their guards to get cards first, and they want special uniforms for them.

The above consumed three long, hard days, interspersed with lunch, supper, sleep, mortars and sleep....

There's an amazing amount of ordinary stuff that one takes for granted, until you have to build it up from scratch...probably our efforts will start to visibly get traction just when the experts declare that they've failed.

I would prefer see a bit more slashing through red tape´┐Żas a taxpayer I'd like to say that I appreciate the effort to be thrifty, but in this case, hey guys, just spend the stuff and get what you need.

Posted by John Weidner at November 29, 2003 2:00 PM
Weblog by John Weidner