Afghanistan (Nov. 3, 2015) —
Representatives from a dozen donor nations joined Afghan leaders, international
partners and Resolute Support personnel to review progress on transparency,
accountability and affordability initiatives within the Afghan Security
Institutions, as well as strategize the way forward in these critical areas.
The Afghan Ministry of Finance hosted the fifth meeting of the Oversight and
Coordination Body, an ambassador-level gathering, Nov. 2. The organization of
international, military and Afghan leaders was formed in 2013 in order to bring
together entities vested in Afghanistan’s security.
Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi co-chaired the meeting with Canada’s
Ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons, who welcomed the event participants
and provided background on the history and purpose of the OCB.
“The work of the OCB is critical to all of us involved in strengthening
Afghanistan — it is equally important to the Afghan citizen who rightly expects
that their military and police will be well equipped to protect them,” said
Lyons. “Putting in place the right systems to ensure efficient and wise
administration of public resources — this, this is the hard, hard work of
governance. It takes time, patience and a lot of people working together.”
Hakimi discussed his ministry’s commitment to fostering strong relationships
with international partners on the path to Warsaw, where the next major
gathering of donors to Afghanistan will meet.
The United Nations Development Programme in Afghanistan was also on hand to
discuss the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, which coordinates the
funding to build and maintain a professional police force, as well as implement
reform priorities of the Ministry of Interior.
Noorulhaq Uloomi, Minister of Interior, and Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Minister
of Defense, discussed their agencies’ requirements and the actions underway to
Stanekzai highlighted improvements within the Ministry of Defense, including
fuel consumption metrics and monitoring, payroll systems to eliminate
corruption and the problem of “ghost soldiers” and transparency in financial
Uloomi also stressed the commitment of his ministry to fight corruption and
“Considerable improvements in leadership, based on management experience, are
being applied to all sections of [the] Ministry of Interior and the Afghan
National Police,” said Uloomi. “The purpose is to bring critical changes in all
police headquarters and central units in order to better fight corruption and
assure transparency and accountability.”
He noted recent recruitment efforts of professional civilian staff that
promoted more efficient processes and enabled police to focus on security
versus administrative tasks.
Both ministries highlighted their efforts to improve participation by women in
the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, including enhancement of
recruitment and training. The ministries affirmed that strong female
representation is essential to maximize national security.
This was the first OCB for Maj. Gen. Gordon “Skip” Davis, Jr., the recently
appointed commander of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. Davis,
who is on his fourth tour in Afghanistan, outlined the mission of CSTC-A and
the continued commitment to donors through fiscal oversight and accountability.
“CSTC-A’s purpose is to help our Afghan partners develop sustainable, effective
and affordable Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” said Davis.
“President Ghani’s mandate to us is to develop enduring Afghan systems and
processes, help make the Afghan Security Institutions affordable and maintain
international community support.”
Davis emphasized Afghan-led and tailored systems where government leaders
understand the issues and take ownership of the solution. He provided progress
updates on the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces’ budgeting and
procurement planning, equipment and facilities sustainment, long term
affordability, procurement processes and personnel and pay systems. Davis also
highlighted the way forward in these areas.
He applauded the ministries’ transparent anti-corruption and waste initiatives
focused on gaining efficiency and improving effectiveness. He concluded his
remarks by focusing on the command’s train, advise and assist mission within
the Afghan Security Institutions, explaining that CSTC-A works to develop
resource management, inspector general transparency, accountability, oversight
and rule of law capability, in addition to providing resources in accordance
with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces requirements.
Davis thanked the coalition partners and donor nations for their role in
continued progress within the Ministries of Defense and Interior.
“Our collective efforts are building real capacity, institutionalizing change
and improving affordability,” said Davis. “Your contributions and support are
making a difference and are critical for continued progress.”
About CSTC-A/DCOS-SA: The Combined Security Transition
Command-Afghanistan/Deputy Chief of Staff-Security Assistance trains, advises
and assists within the Afghan Security Institutions to develop resource
management, transparency, accountability and oversight and Rule of Law
capability. The command also provides resources in accordance with Afghan
National Defense Security Forces’ requirements while ensuring fiscal oversight
and accountability of funds and materiel delivered.