10MOSCOW297, USAID MOSCOW DISCUSSES USG CONTRACTING WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW297 2010-02-10 13:20 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0016
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0297 0411320
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD20C13D AMG1856-695)
P 101320Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6190
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0715

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000297 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION 
EMBASSY KABUL FOR USAID KABUL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RS AF
SUBJECT: USAID MOSCOW DISCUSSES USG CONTRACTING WITH 
RUSSIAN OFFICIALS AND INDUSTRY 
 
REF: HOOD-SAVAGE FEB 9 EMAIL 
 
This information is Sensitive But Unclassified.  Do not 
release to Public Internet. 
 
1. (SBU) February 3 USAID Moscow briefed GOR officials and 
Russian business representatives on the USG contracting 
process.  They also discussed tenders in Afghanistan.  The 
presentation responded to requests from Russian officials who 
frequently cite the experience then-Soviet workers gained in 
Afghanistan as a potential contribution Russia could make to 
the current effort to rebuild Afghanistan.  Attendees 
included representatives from the Russian Afghanistan 
Business Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
(Afghanistan Desk and Russia Cooperation Agency), Ministry of 
Finance and the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM), 
as well as USAID-funded non-governmental organizations 
(Center for Fiscal Policy, Institute for Urban Economics and 
Russian Microfinance Center).  Private companies such as 
SojzVneshTrans, TechnoPromExport, ZarubezhTransStroi, and 
Zarubezhstroi also attended. 
 
2. (SBU) USAID's Acting Mission Director briefed the group on 
the history and structure of USAID and USG foreign assistance 
programs.  USAID Moscow's Contracting Officer next spoke in 
detail about USAID's project design and contracting 
procedures.  Participants were given a list of anticipated 
USAID competitive contracting opportunities in Afghanistan 
for FY2010, and names and contact information for USAID's 
implementing partners in Afghanistan.  The presenters also 
described Embassy Kabul's and U.S. Forces Afghanistan's 
"Afghan First" policy, which encourages local procurement of 
Afghan goods and services to benefit and improve the 
well-being of the Afghan people. 
 
3. (SBU) Several representatives from Russian firms expressed 
concern that they were disadvantaged bidding against 
companies that already had a presence in Afghanistan.  They 
asked if the USG could facilitate their access to contacts 
and information, including potential travel to Afghanistan, 
to help them write bids that are more competitive.  The 
Contracting Officer indicated that this assistance was not 
possible but did point out the potential benefits of 
sub-contracting with companies who were currently working in 
Afghanistan.  She also remarked that forming consortium 
companies was not prohibited.  She noted that substantial 
information was available online and that contact information 
for each opportunity was provided on the FY 2010 contracting 
forecast.  The Contracting Officer also advised against 
submitting unsolicited proposals, as it is difficult to meet 
the standard for uniqueness and innovation necessary to make 
such a proposal feasible under U.S. law. 
 
4. (SBU) In response to a question on the ability of 
government owned companies to bid on tenders, the Contracting 
Officer referenced USG law which states that firms cannot be 
wholly or partially government owned in order to participate 
in a bid.  The representative from the Russian Afghanistan 
Business Council noted that this stipulation would make it 
difficult for many Russian companies to compete because the 
GOR retained a small percent ownership in many companies when 
state companies were privatized in the 1990s.  The 
Contracting Officer noted that this question could be 
referred to USAID lawyers for a formal opinion.  The 
Contracting Officer also reminded the group that in addition 
to USG contracts, the Afghan government itself and 
inter-governmental organizations such as the World Bank also 
finance work in Afghanistan and operate under different 
requirements. 
 
5. (SBU) The representative from the Russian Afghanistan 
Business Council presented a list of projects for which 
Russian firms had specialized expertise because of their work 
at these sites in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (reftel).  On 
the issue of the Salang Tunnel, participants said that the 
Afghan government had indicated that further work on the 
tunnel was needed.  Additionally, Russian firms said they 
already had plans and the capability to do the work.  The 
only issue remaining is funding. 
Beyrle

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