US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA73

SENATOR FEINGOLD TALKS ABOUT ANTI-CORRUPTION WITH CHADIAN OFFICIALS

Identifier: 05NDJAMENA73
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA73 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-01-20 13:03:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PGOV PHUM KDEM EPET ECON CD VIP Visits
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

201303Z Jan 05

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FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0790
INFO AMEMBASSY ABUJA 
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 
AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 
AMEMBASSY DAKAR 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 
AMEMBASSY OSLO 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
SECDEF WASHDC
USEU BRUSSELS
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
DOE WASHDC
UNCLAS  NDJAMENA 000073 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF, AF/C, EB, AND H FOR CALLARD; LONDON AND 
PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS; TREASURY FOR OTA; ENERGY FOR 
GEORGE PERSON AND CAROLYN GAY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, EPET, ECON, CD, VIP Visits 
SUBJECT: SENATOR FEINGOLD TALKS ABOUT ANTI-CORRUPTION WITH 
CHADIAN OFFICIALS 
 
REF: A. NDJAMENA 68 
 
     B. NDJAMENA 72 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary:  Senator Russell Feingold met with Mariam 
Ali, the newly-appointed Minister of Public Control and 
Ethics who also serves as an inspector general for government 
operations, and members of the Oil Revenue Management College 
to discuss transparency measures and mechanisms to control 
corruption on January 13.  Feingold heard about Ali's efforts 
to get the newly created ministry and government 
anti-corruption policies in place.  According to Ali, there 
is considerable support for anti-corruption measures within 
the govenrment.  During a luncheon with members of the 
College, Feingold was told that to date, the process by which 
government projects in priority sectors are reviewed is 
working.  Members represent various constituencies and take 
their task very seriously.   They emphasized the importance 
of the College succeeding so that Chad can be a good example 
of the benefits that oil can bring.  Despite the optimism 
expressed throughout the day, our Chadian contacts also 
acknowledged the challenges ahead in the fight against 
corruption.  End Summary. 
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVITIES 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
2.  (SBU) Senator Feingold encouraged Minister for Public 
Control and Ethics Mariam Ali's efforts to strengthen the 
ministry,s capacity to act as a watchdog against corruption. 
 Ali explained that the ministry was created six months 
earlier and represents a consolidation of government 
anti-corruption efforts underway since 1991.  With oil 
revenues now flowing into Chad, there is more urgency in the 
fight against corruption in Chad, Ali said.  The Government 
wants to ensure that the oil revenues are properly managed 
and that types of corruption that happened in the past do not 
re-occur.  Ali stated that it is important to show Chadians 
that the Government is being vigilant. 
 
3.  (SBU) The Minister said that policy documents outlining 
anti-corruption measures have already been signed and another 
is now before the Council of Ministers for consideration. 
Ali said that she believes that she has a high level of 
support among the ministries and the full support of the 
President and Prime Minister.  She said that other ministers 
have expressed high expectations for her ministry to root out 
bad management.  Ali told Feingold that there are many 
competent bureaucrats throughout the government that can 
assist in fighting corruption. 
 
4.  (SBU) In terms of budget transparency, Ali told Feingold 
that the Oil Revenue Management College has been put in place 
to oversee the oil revenues.  She said that her ministry will 
also monitor Government spending of the oil revenues as well, 
but did not explain how her ministry will exercise oversight. 
 Feingold noted that Chad is near the bottom of Transparency 
International,s (TI) list for corruption and that this makes 
it difficult to attract international investors.  She 
acknowledged the problem and said that her ministry is 
currently preparing a reply to a TI questionnaire. 
 
5.  (SBU)  Ali noted, however, that it has taken time to 
organize the new ministry.  Her office is currently housed 
within the Presidency, but needs space to expand.  In terms 
of expertise, Ali said that Chad is learning a great deal 
from the anti-corruption experiences of Burkina Faso and 
Benin.  She is traveling to both countries for two weeks to 
learn more about enhancing anti-corruption capabilities, best 
practices, and procedures. 
 
6.  (SBU) Ali emphasized that in an increasingly globalized 
 
 
world, corruption in one country has implications for others. 
 She said that Chad will review the anti-corruption efforts 
of other countries and adapt them to Chadian realities.  She 
relayed her experience with a group of African 
parliamentarians that visited Chad in December 2004.  She 
told the conference that corruption is responsible for many 
countries losing assistance and investment.  One 
parliamentarian disagreed with her and said that there 
actually are benefits to corruption.  Ali said she was 
surprised to find someone defending corruption as &good8. 
 
7.  (SBU) Feingold again expressed support for Ali in her 
anti-corruption efforts.  He reminded her that Kenya,s 
reputation was destroyed by corruption under President Moi. 
Kabaki,s election on an anti-corruption platform is helping 
to improve the country,s reputation once again.  Ali thanked 
Feingold and Ambassador Wall for the visit and added that the 
Ambassador &holds the key to my new office in his hands8. 
(Comment: A reference to the Government,s interest in 
acquiring a U.S. property to locate the Ministry.  Ref A. 
End Comment.) 
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
PROTECTING PETROLEUM REVENUES 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
8.  (SBU) Feingold received a closer look at how Chad's new 
oil revenues are being monitored during a luncheon with eight 
members of the Oil Revenue College and two U.S. treasury 
advisors.  Newly-elected College President, Lamana Abdoulaye 
outlined for Feingold the College's structure and procedures 
for reviewing government project proposals.  When Feingold 
asked why the College was created, government members 
emphasized that the President Deby insisted on its creation. 
According to Lamana, the President wanted to ensure that Chad 
did not repeat the mistakes of Nigeria or Gabon, oil 
producers where the people live in poverty but the leaders 
enjoy rich lifestyles.  (Comment: None of the members 
mentioned that the monitoring mechanism was required by the 
financial institutions as a condition of the loan.  For more 
information on the College's recent activity, see Ref B.  End 
Comment.) 
 
9.  (SBU)  College members expressed satisfaction with the 
projects that they have already approved and with their 
relationship with the Ministries.  They told Feingold that 
some key Ministers were at one time members of the College. 
They also said that they did not feel any undue pressure from 
the Government at this point.  Interestingly, the 
conversation turned to other oil issues, which are outside of 
the College's mandate.  Chadian officials, for example, are 
trying to understand if Chad is maximizing its profits from 
oil production.  They have demonstrated interest in how the 
price of a barrel of Doba blend oil is calculated and the 
point at which the oil is metered in the pipeline.  In 
addition, Lamana raised other technical issues which 
demonstrate that College members do not fully understand the 
production process and oil marketing. 
 
10.  (SBU) The College members told Feingold that they expect 
the revenues from new fields to be used in the same spirit as 
the current revenues, with slight adjustments for priority 
sectors.  College members were not sure if another College 
would be created to monitor revenues from future exploration 
or if the current institution would be responsible.  They 
expressed some concern about the workload when future 
revenues are brought on line because each member already has 
a full-time job in addition to their College work.  Site 
visits to verify that projects have been completed will be 
critical to demonstrating the College's success.  Several 
members noted that their personal reputations are on the line 
if this process fails and Chad's oil revenues are squandered 
 
 
away. 
 
- - - - 
COMMENT 
- - - - 
 
11.  (SBU)  Ali's Ministry and the College are relatively 
young in institutional terms.  Key players appear well-versed 
in their portfolios and determined to monitor government 
activities to the best of their abilities.  In the case of 
the College, the work of each member reflects on their 
constituencies and they emphasized the importance of making 
sure that the oil revenues are properly spent.  Nonetheless, 
most of our interlocutors acknowledged the difficulties they 
face and agreed that the fight against corruption has just 
begun in Chad.  Senator Feingold made it clear that he would 
remain an ally in their attempts to instill transparency and 
accountability in government. 
 
WALL 
 
 
NNNN 

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