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Monday, 7 March 2005
Page: 165

Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, on notice, on 17 November 2004:

(1)   Has the Government provided any funding for the reconstruction of Iraq; if so: (a) how much; (b) when was it allocated; and (c) to which fund in Iraq was it allocated.

(2)   If funding has been provided: (a) who oversaw the distribution of the funds; (b) how much has been expended to date; (c) what oversight and bidding requirements were placed on the distribution of that funding by the Australian Government; (d) what activities and projects have been funded; (e) which companies have been successful tenderers for that funding in Iraq; and (f) has Halliburton been the recipient of any of that funding; if so: (i) how much, and (ii) for what purpose.

(3)   Has there been an audit of the fund into which any Australian funds were deposited under the Coalition Provisional Authority; if so, will the Prime Minister release the audit; if not, will the Prime Minister request such an audit.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1) (a)   The Government has committed $126 million for the reconstruction of Iraq.

(b)   $55.5 million was allocated to United Nations agencies, international organisations and NGOs in 2003 to help meet Iraq’s immediate humanitarian needs. A further $70.9 million was subsequently allocated in 2003 and 2004 for activities in the agriculture sector, to support a range of governance-related activities and through multilateral organisations.

(c)   The only specific fund supported by Australia has been the multi-donor International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI). $20 million was pledged in October 2003, with a further $4.8 million allocated in June 2004. Both amounts have been paid.

(2) (a)   IRFFI is oversighted by the United Nations and the World Bank. Individual donors and the Iraqi Interim Government also provide oversight. IRFFI and other funding provided bilaterally are also oversighted by AusAID and the DFAT-chaired Iraq Task Force.

(b)   $109,064,418 of the $126 million commitment has been expensed as at 30 November 2004.

(c)   Reconstruction funding for Iraq is monitored by AusAID and all tendering arrangements are in accordance with Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.

(d)   Humanitarian and relief funding to Iraq ($55.5m) has comprised support for United Nations programs and Australian NGOs to respond to immediate relief and humanitarian needs, including medical support, water and sanitation, and child protection.

Reconstruction funding to Iraq has included provision of technical assistance and policy advice in the agriculture sector where Australian advisers have played an important role in re-establishing this Ministry. Australian advisers have also worked in planning and donor coordination, governance and human rights, economic development, and water and sanitation. Over 30 Australian advisers have worked in Iraq to date.

In-Australia training programs have also been conducted for Iraqi officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Trade, Human Rights and the Foreign Ministry. Australian police trainers have been seconded to a Police Training College in Jordan supporting the training of Iraqi police recruits.

(e)   SAGRIC International Pty Ltd manages Australian advisory inputs and training programs for Iraq. Another company, CRG (Australia), is contracted to provide security services and associated logistics.

Other companies that have been awarded minor contracts for advisory and logistics services are:  

* RADPAC Pty Ltd                                      * HK Shipping Pty Ltd

* GRM International Pty Ltd                      * Centre for International Economics

* AWB Ltd                                                    * URS Australia Pty Ltd

* Dean Wallace Associates                        * Denis Paterson and Associates

*Monapilla Pty Ltd                                      * Lengano Pty Ltd

*Blake Dawson Waldron                           

(f)   Halliburton has not received any Australian aid funding.

(3)   ANAO conducts an annual audit of AusAID’s financial statements. No Australian funds have been deposited into any fund under the Coalition Provisional Authority.