Sons of Iraq and the Iraqi Budget
The news over the last several days has covered the arrest of a prominent Baghdad leader of the Sons of Iraq, and complaints about the lack of pay. The media are reducing a complex issue to sound bites and that does a disservice to both the Iraqi government and the Coalition.
I interviewed Col. Roy Gray, director, Finance and Contracting Directorate, Ministry of Interior Transitional Team, today for a Bloggers’ Roundtable. I asked about the media reports.
The Iraqi government is into its third month without a budget. Parliament failed to pass a budget before the fiscal year began on January 1, then chose to defer any action until the results of the provincial elections were known. Iraq is operating under a “continuing resolution” at this time.
The Sons of Iraq have all been transferred to Iraqi control, through the Ministry of Defense. Their payroll, however, was coming from the National Reconciliation budget. About a month ago, the decision was made to run that payroll through the Ministry of Interior instead. Because Iraqi law regulates Ministry payroll, and the Ministry had no budget for payroll, there was a delay in paying the SoI.
Most of the SoI are paid via a contract with their leadership. Those contracts had to be run through the Interior Ministry process, and Parliament had to pass enabling legislation.
The Bank of Iraq has transferred funds that will result in SoI payroll being issued, beginning today [March 30, 2009]. This is a loan pending the passing of a budget. The National Reconciliation area of the Prime Minister’s office is still responsible for getting that pay to the SoI. All SoI will need to be enrolled as Interior Ministry employees to be paid.
So, the short answer is bureaucracy. It does not appear that any sort of anti-Sunni feelings are involved.
Remember, too, that payroll is in cash, to the individual SoI or to the leadership with which the SoI contract is written. Banking is very limited in Iraq and nearly all transactions are in cash.
Table of contents for Bloggers' Roundtable
- We Don’t Commute to Work Anymore
- Terror Investors Might Want to Look Elsewhere
- I Hear It’s Safe
- In Our Area the Taliban Are Paying More a Month
- Iraqi Police Progress
- Sept. 11 Conspirators Going to Trial
- Continued Courage and Committment
- The Year of Opportunity – 2008
- Competent, Capable, Effective Leadership
- Afghan Army Acts: Decisive, Overwhelming
- Iraqi Military Medical Services
- Dallas Reporting: Aid Mission to Georgia
- Military Integration Into NIMS
- Status Report From the Afghan South
- Status Report From the Afghan East
- Fourth Fleet Is About Partnerships
- Iraqi Police Primer
- Sons of Iraq Status Update
- Army Apologizes
- We Are Here!
- Yar! There Be Pirates!
- Cobra Gold 2009
- Our Best: Sergeant First Class Helen Gillespie
- Africa Partnership Station Comes to E Africa
- Building the Rule of Law in Afghanistan
- Sons of Iraq and the Iraqi Budget
- Air Force Combat Camera – Focus on the Fight
- Afghan Update for July 22, 2009
- The Army Goal: 1.5 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy
- Withdrawing from Iraq – some perspective
- Iraqi security update April 22 2010
- 2012 Federal Budget for Defense
- Pacific Command and the Pacific
- Air Force high flyers mark 100th anniversary
This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 11:06 am and is filed under War on Terror, Iraq, Original writing, War on Terror, Iraq, Rebuilding, Original writing, Reporting, War on Terror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.