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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
CPA spends $367m on Iraq
Renovation work at Al-Doura power plant, Baghdad
Much of the effort has gone into restoring electricity supplies
The Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq awarded contracts worth a total of $367m (205m) in the period from 1 January to 10 April, it has emerged.

The hundreds of contracts for rebuilding Iraq, detailed on the CPA's website, are mostly modestly-sized deals worth less than $1m apiece.

The huge range of projects includes the rebuilding of schools, mosques, hospitals, and water and power plants.

Other work involves renovating sports facilities and resupplying the police.

The largest individual contracts were for supplying vehicles to the police and other authorities, provision of body armour, supply of machinery and rebuilding power plants.

There were also deals to conduct an audit of the external debt of Iraq ($13.2m), run an "advertisement campaign to educate Iraqis" ($5.9m) and supply broiler layer protein concentrate for Iraq's poultry industry ($14.6m).

One of the less valuable contracts in the comprehensive list included $31,000 spent on providing the interim governing council with mobile phones.

Reserved for Iraqis

Publication of a register of contracts awarded comes as the CPA prepares to change the rules for contractors working in Iraq, with a view to providing more business for Iraqi firms.

From 15 April, under the so-called Iraqi business set-aside programme, all contracts with an estimated value of less than $500,000 will be reserved for Iraqi-owned businesses.

Both Iraqi and non-US international contractors have previously complained that they have been missing out on business opportunities under the US-led reconstruction programme.

The coalition authorities are also under pressure to ensure the enormous reconstruction programme produces rapid improvement in the day-to-day lives of ordinary Iraqis.

More than 30 CPA contracts remained outstanding as of 14 April, with bid deadlines from 15-28 April.

The CPA contracts are in addition to other US-funded work being managed by the US Agency for International Development and the Defense Department.

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