Bremer Announces New Iraqi Government Departments
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 24, 2004 The Coalition Provisional Authority's senior official today announced the coming creation of several new Iraqi-run government departments.
Addressing members of the Iraqi Governing Council and the Baghdad City Council in Baghdad, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III noted he'd soon establish government defense, anti-corruption and information departments.
With about 100 days remaining until the June 30 handover of power to an Iraqi interim government, Bremer saluted the governing council, noting Iraq's citizens owe "thanks for its courageous statesmanship in writing the Transitional Administrative Law and setting Iraq on the path to sovereignty, elections and democracy."
Bremer announced that a new Iraqi Ministry of Defense and a cabinet-level National Security Committee would be stood up later this week, noting security "is the first concern of Iraqi citizens and the top priority of the coalition."
Although the vast majority of Iraq's citizens are honest, Bremer said, "many Iraqis are concerned about corruption." A Commission on Public Integrity, he said, soon will be established to be "the chief enforcement element of Iraq's anti-corruption laws."
The anti-corruption commission will work alongside new auditors and inspectors general departments, Bremer explained, forming "an integrated approach" to fighting corruption in government across the country.
"I have already appointed inspectors general in 19 ministries," Bremer said.
Another new government agency will be created because a free and democratic Iraq has no need for government-sponsored propaganda, Bremer announced. "Government-owned media exist to inform the public," he said, "not to promote the political interests of the president or prime minister of the moment."
A new Iraq Public Service Broadcaster Commission - independent of the government -- will be established to regulate publicly owned media. And to ensure Iraqi airwaves "are administered in the public interest, the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission will administer their use independently of the government," Bremer added.
After the transfer of power, "Iraqis will be sovereign in their own land and responsible for their own future," Bremer noted. Although the Coalition Provisional Authority is slated to end June 30, Bremer said the U.S.-coalition commitment to a free Iraq would continue.
"Our military forces will become full partners with Iraq's sovereign government in providing security to the Iraqi people," Bremer said.