Tuesday, January 20, 2009

US still paying "Awakening" Council, Parliament has no speaker

In the next three months, the Iraqi government plans to completely absorb the approximately 100,000 informal security personnel known as the Sons of Iraq, many of whom were former insurgents. They decided to stop fighting the U.S. and Iraqi security forces about two years ago and last August, efforts began to incorporate them into the government. The Sons of Iraq, or SOIs, have been a key factor in improving security in Iraq and the acceptance of them by the Iraqi government is seen as a symbol of national reconciliation.

The above is from Gina Chon's "Consolidation of Iraqi Security Forces Is Enormous Task " (Wall St. Journal's Baghdad Life) and, yes, the "Awakening" Council was supposedly turned over in November (November 10th) but that was just more spin. Chon reports that it is now thought that April will be when the Iraqi government assumes payment for the nearly 100,000. (US military spokespeople doing briefings from Baghdad regularly used the number 90,000 throughout 2008.) Those paying attention will grasp that's 12 months after the we-will-do-something show. In news of other non-progress, Timothy Williams (NYT's International Herald Tribune) notes that yesterday Iraq's Parliament again delayed their vote on selecting a new Speaker and now intend to vote on the 4th of February.

Dropping back to the January 12 snapshot:

Moving to Iraqi politics but starting with a US example. Willam Brockman Bankhead was the Speaker of the US House of Representatives for over four years. He died unexpectably of a heart attack on September 15, 1940. (For those unfamiliar with Bankhead, he was the father of Tallulah Bankhead.) The following day, Sam Rayburn became Speaker of the House. The following day. December 23rd, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was forced out of the Speakership of the Iraqi Parliament. The week prior he had stated he was resigning. He attempted to take that back but a large number wanted him gone as Speaker and had wanted him gone for some time with repeated public efforts to oust him. It is now January 12th and they have still not appointed a new Speaker. Today Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) reports that the Parliament will address the issue on Saturday and they expect to continue discussing it. Saturday -- when they do not expect to make a decision -- will be the 17th. It will be almost one month later. Repeating, when US House Speaker Bankhead unexepectedly died in office, he was replaced by Speaker Rayburn the next day. Repeating, al-Mashhadani was wanted out by many (in the summer of 2006, believing whispers, the New York Times reported he would be out of the post shortly). Despite all the planning to oust him, despite the fact that it was not a surprise, nearly a month later and they have yet to name a replacement.

Feb. 4th will be forty-four days after they ousted al-Mashhadani. Again, when Bankhead died in office, he was replaced the next day.

While Iraq's Parliament remains leaderless, the Foreign Ministry notes many developments. The Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, was in Kuwait at the Economic and Social Council meet-up Friday, the Foreign Ministry (with the Undersecretary for Policy Planning and Bilateral Relations, Labeed Abbawi representing) met with Bernardo de Azevedo (Brazilian non-resident Ambassador) Sunday, Saturday Jalal Talabani, Iraq's President, received Ambassadors Dr. Alaa Al-Jawaddi (Syria), Omar Al-Barazanchi (Lebanon) and Abdel Amir Abu Tbeikh (Turkey). And the Foreign Ministry issued the following:

18 January, 2009

His Excellency President Talabani Arrives Kuwait on top of a High-Level Delegation

His Excellency Mr. Jalal Talabani, arrived Sunday morning 18/1/2009, to the brotherly State of Kuwait on the head of a high-level Iraqi delegation that included Deputy Prime Minister and foreign relations Official in the Council of Representatives, Ministers of Finance, Oil, Trade, and a number of experts to participate in the Economic, development social Summit to be held on 19-20 January 2009.

His Excellency was met at Kuwait's International Airport by Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Prime Minister and the Prince's delegation, and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Ambassadors accompanying him a welcome ceremony was made for him and a review of the presidential guard of honor.

President Talabani will present the Iraq's paper in front of the summit meeting, 1-19 in addition to the scheduled talks with His Highness the Prince of Kuwait on the economic partnership between the two countries.

The Kurdistan Regional Government focuses on a potential plant:

Invitation to tender: Hydropower plant equipment supply and installation

Country: Iraq

Project: Dokan and Derbandikhan emergency hydropower project (HPP)

Sector: Supply and installation of plant and equipment

Product: Control, protection and monitoring equipment for the rehabilitation of Derbandikhan and Dokan HPPs

Credit No.: 4249-IQ

Project ID: P099059

This Procurement Notice refers to the rebidding of the competitive bidding for which a Procurement Notice was published in UN Development Business on July 24, 2008.

Deadline for submission of bids: 12 noon, 1 April 2009.

The Republic of Iraq has received a credit from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development toward the cost of Dokan and Derbandikhan emergency hydropower project, and it intends to apply part of the proceeds of this credit to payments under the contract for Control, Protection and Monitoring Equipment for the rehabilitation of Derbandikhan and Dokan hydropower plants.

Dokan and Derbandikhan HPPs are respectively equipped with five and three units for a total capacity of 400 MW and 249 MW, are the two largest power stations in the Kurdistan Region, and are connected to the national power grid. Each HPP is part of a multipurpose scheme for power production and irrigation in its area. The Dokan dam is located on the Lesser Zab River, approximately 220km upstream from its confluence with the Tigris River. The site is located adjacent to the town of Dokan. The Derbandikhan dam is located on the Sirwan River, immediately upstream of the town of Derbandikhan, approximately 150km upstream of the Hemren Dam. The site is approximately 395km northeast of Baghdad and 65km southeast of Suleimaniah city. It is also within 15km of Iran southeast border.

The scope of work includes the design, manufacture, factory testing, delivery, civil works, installation, training, site testing and commissioning of the following main equipment:

  • Control and monitoring systems;
  • Turbine governors;
  • Generator, transformer and turbine protection systems;
  • Energy meters.

    Bidders’ qualifications
    To be qualified for the award of the contract, bidders shall possess the following requirements:

    (i) General experience in the installation of control systems for industrial facilities, and specific experience in the supply of control systems for hydropower plants acquired either directly or through nominated sub-contractors;

    (ii) the sum of the turnover in the three years 2005, 2006 and 2007 should be greater than 30 million US Dollar;

    (iii) the policy of the bidder as well as those of all its subcontractors shall not forbid either the contractor or its subcontractors from providing expatriated personnel to work in Iraq, and therefore the contractor and its subcontractors shall be in the position to actually provide the expatriated personnel needed for the erection and commissioning of the equipment;

    (iv) absence of any non-performance of a contract in the last three years prior to the deadline for application submission, based on all information on fully settled disputes or litigation;

    (v) not being under execution of a Bid-Securing Declaration in Iraq;

    (vi) all pending litigation against the contractor shall in total not represent more than 10%, (ten percent) of the contractor’s net worth;

    (vii) current soundness of the contractor’s financial position and its prospective long term profitability, and capacity to have a cash flow amount of two million US dollars equivalent, both proved by the audited balance sheets of the three years 2005, 2006 and 2007 or, if such audited balance sheets are not required by the law of the contractor’s country, by other financial statements acceptable to the Ministry of Electricity.

    Bidders may associate to enhance their qualifications.

    Bidding will be conducted through the international competitive bidding procedures specified in the World Bank’s Guidelines: Procurement under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits, and is open to all bidders from eligible source countries as defined in the Guidelines.

    Bidding documents
    Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Electricity (MOE Address 1) or from ELC Electroctroconsult, at the addresses given below, and inspect the bidding documents at the same addresses from 08.00 to 15.00 hours, Sunday to Thursday for MOE and from 9.00 to 17.00 hours, Monday to Friday for ELC Electroconsult.

    A complete set of bidding documents in English may be purchased by interested bidders on the submission of a written application to one of the addresses below and upon payment of a nonrefundable fee of 100 US dollars, or an equivalent amount in any convertible currency. The documents are available from 18 January 2009 at MOE, and 19 January 2009 at ELC Electroconsult and can be collected from the addresses given below or will be on request sent by regular mail. The documents may also be sent using international courier upon receiving advance payment of 50 US dollars for the courier fee.

    The method of payment will be cash. Payment may also be carried out by certified cheque, or prior deposit into the bank accounts as follows:

    For payment to the Ministry of Electricity:
  • by certified check made payable to Dokan and Derbandikhan Hydropower Project (PMT), or
  • deposit into the following bank account:
    Kurdistan Regional Trade Bank, Suleimaniah, Iraq
    Account number 463

    For payment to ELC Electroctroconsult:
  • by certified check made payable to ELC Electroctroconsult S.p.A., or
  • deposit into the following bank account:
    Banco di Desio e della Brianza
    IBAN: IT94K0344056400000078300009.

    Deadline for submission of bids
    Bids must be delivered to the Ministry of Electricity’s address below (MOE Address 2) at or before 12 noon on 1 April 2009.

    All bids must be accompanied by a bid security of two hundred thousands US dollars (US$200,000) or an equivalent amount in a freely convertible currency. Late bids will be rejected. Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the Ministry of Electricity at the address below (MOE Address 3) five minutes after the deadline for submission of bids.

    MOE Address 1:
    General Directorate of Electricity of Suleimaniah
    Contact: Mr Fatih Saeed Salih
    Salm St., Suleimaniah, Iraq
    Tel.: +964 (0)770 158 0336
    E-mail: fatihsalih02@yahoo.com

    MOE Address 2:
    Commercial Directorate
    Attn.: Minister Hoshyar A. Siwaily
    Ministry of Electricity, Kurdistan Regional Government
    60 Metre Street
    Erbil, Iraq

    MOE Address 3:
    General Directorate of the Diwan
    60 Metre Street
    Erbil, Iraq

    ELC Electroctroconsult address:
    ELC Electroctroconsult S.p.A.
    Via 1° Maggio 41, 20021 Baranzate (Milano), Italy
    Attn.: Federico Ciampitti
    Tel.: (+39) 02383351
    Fax: (+39) 0238335353
    E-mail: federico.ciampitti(at)elc-electroconsult.com

  • At McClatchy's Inside Iraq, an Iraqi correspondent offers photos that make a point on 'progress.' Reuters notes a Baghdad car bombing claimed 3 lives and left five more injured, a Baghdad roadside bombing apparently targeting Ammar Aziz (deputy minister of Higher Education Ministry) which wounded five of his bodyguards, and a Mosul bomber who wounded one police officer, a Baquba bombing that wounded three people.

    And in the US?

    Debutante Barack

    That's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Debutante Barack" and Scott Mayerowitz (ABC News) reports:

    The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn't stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama
    The actual swearing-in ceremony will cost $1.24 million, according to Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

    The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

     gina chon

    scott mayerowtiz
    abc news