By SGT Eunice Alicea Valentin (USF-I, DCG A&T PAO)November 19, 2010
BAGHDAD - United States Forces-Iraq provided a forum for members of Iraq's intelligence community to network across ministries in an effort to assess and promote processes leading to developing a more financially-secure and self-sustaining nation as U.S. Forces continue to draw down. The Intelligence Officer Financial Manager Conference was conducted at the Babylon Conference center here Nov. 2, and was attended by directors and senior financial managers from various Iraqi intelligence and security organizations from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior. "This meeting is a step toward developing Iraq's intelligence organizations," said Mr. Mohammed Hamza Hussein, a representative with the Iraq's Council of Representatives Defense and Security Committee. "As MoD and MoI advisors we will bring our mutual concerns about budget provisions to members of parliament." Attendees shared information relative to improving the current financial management processes and enhancing their knowledge of the internal processes required in the acquisition of defense equipment and services through the MoD and MoI contracting process. "Looking out into the future can be a difficult challenge," said Peter Fisher, director of Iraq Training and Advisory Mission-Intelligence, who served as the facilitator for the conference. "But it is a necessary requirement in planning the ability to sustain intelligence capabilities, infrastructure, life-cycle replacement of buildings and equipment, training opportunities and personnel costs," Officials with USF-I see this conference as a first step toward establishing visibility of common financial challenges within Iraq's intelligence community which will lead to enhanced strategic communications across ministries.