Essential Function 1 - PPBE
Books on Afghanistan
EF 1 - PPBE is concerned with generating requirements, developing a resourced-informed budget, and then following through by responsibly executing the spending plans. As all the EFs are interrelated, EF 1 is particularly important because it directly affects all other EFs. EF 1 advising efforts will focus on ANSF's Resource Management and Procurement (RMaP) departments, aiding them in developing the experience, leadership, and proper objectives priorization that they require. 1.
"Essential Function 1 (EF1) has the primary mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) on Resource Management. Resource Management includes determining the plan for what products and services need to be bought, putting contracts into place to purchase items, and monitoring the status of funds being spent." RS has three priorities that it is focused on to help the Afghans. The first is building donor confidence and trust that the Afghan resource management process is transparent, accountable and effective (some would call this reducing Afghan corruption). The second is increasing resource management capability within the MoD and MoI. The third is setting conditions for 2017 by having a significantly smaller Train, Advise, and Assist staff through building effective systems and processes today. (Hint: the Coalition is not about being in Afghanistan forever!). 3. and 4.
There are a number of nations providing advisors to the Afghan National Security Forces across all of the 8 Essential Functions (8 EFs). This is true of Essential Function 1 - PPBE as well. For instance, Denmark (in 2015) has Christian Bedmar, a Danish GS-13, serving as an advisor to the Ministry of Defense Acquisition Agency. In his role working on regional contracts, Bedmar ensures that supplies and resources get to their intended recipients in a timely manner by assisting with the creation of a National Codification Bureau branch in Afghanistan. 5.
Ministry Advisors in Afghanistan
DoDIG, Acquisition Processes and Contract
Management, DoDIG-2015-082, February 26, 2015. In this paper the
Department of Defense Inspector General's office found that " . . . CSTC-A
has not fully developed the capacity of the ministries to operate
effectively, independently, and transparently. This occurred because
CSTC-A did not hold the ministries accountable for not instituting the
necessary controls over the contract management process and did not
enforce the requirements within the commitment letters."
February 9, 2015. "RSM Essential Function 1:
Resource Management", Mark Peterson, RS Director of EF 1, tells us about
the priorities of EF 1 in this NATO Resolute Support video. The three
priorities of EF 1 are donor confidence, increasing resource management
capability within the MoD and MoI, and setting conditions for the future.
(Vimeo, 2 mins). .
February 9, 2015. "EF1 in Resolute Support
Mission". ISAF Facebook.
Assessing Requirements. The Resolute Support EF1 is attempting to increase the resource management capability of the MoI and MoD. One of the first steps in accurately assessing the strategic requirements. The MoI does this through its National Police Plan that documents its strategy. Read more on this in a posting on Resolute Support Facebook.
Creating a Budget. Building a budget at ministry level in Afghanistan requires identifying requirements to meet the capabilities the Ministries need, while staying within the amount of available funds. For instance, the Ministry of Defense's Programs and Analysis Department leads Program Working Group sessions four times a week to identify and prioritize requirements for the next three years. EF1 helps in this process by meeting with the Afghans on a weekly basis to assist and advise in the process. See an ISAF Facebook posting for more info on this topic.
Financial Management Seminars. Periodically advisors from Resolute Support EF1 conduct seminars the give Afghan MoD employees the opportunity to meet with EF1 advisors to discuss issues or topics related to their field. For instance, in December 2016 EF1 advisors from the Multi-Year Budgeting and Execution Programs office (known as EF-1 Functional Area Support Team or FAST) met with Afghan counterparts to provide mentorship and training during a one-day long seminar on the Afghan Personnel and Pay System (APPS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). 6.
PTWGs. "With EF1 assistance, the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior each created Procurement Technical Working Groups (PTWGs) to meet and identify root problems and best practices in requirements, procurement, and contract administration". See ISAF Facebook posting for more info on the PTWGs.
PBACs. The MoD and MoI have each created (with assistance from Resolute Support EF1) Program Budget Advisory Committees for senior level budget oversight and management, bringing together Afghan and Coalition leaders to discuss problems and determine solutions. After working requirements, developing a budget, and signing a contract, the last step in resource management is spending funds. An important measure of success is the percentage of funds actually spent against the budget; in years past the MoI and MoD had a horrible record in this regard. See an ISAF Facebook posting explaining more about PBACs.
EF1 Assists in Improving Oversight for Police Pay. The Afghan police is notoriously corrupt; plagued with incompetent leaders, thousands of ghost policemen, and high-ranking officials involved in the drug trade. One of the more pressing concerns is the erratic pay for its policemen in the lower ranks (the high-ranking officials always get their pay and then some). The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has oversight in the administration of the Law and Order Trust Fund Afghanistan (LOTFA) which funds police salaries. However, the UNDP has a poor record in doing its job in regard to LOTFA. 2. EF1 is attempting to assist the MoI and UNDP in fixing the police pay problem. Read an ISAF Facebook posting explaining more on this topic - and another posting here as well.
EF1 And Fuel Corruption. One huge problem facing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is the stealing of fuel. This stolen fuel happens at all levels - starting at the Ministry level all the way down to the police district center and ANA kandak level. Almost everyone manages to take their cut. Through the years the Coalition has never managed to get a handle on this very persistent and expensive problem. The ANSF receives more than enough fuel for its vehicles but it never gets down to the level where it is needed (district centers and kandaks). The Resolute Support Facebook page has a very politely worded posting on how EF1 is assisting in building "confidence" through its work to ensure that fuel purchased by the Ministries with donor funding is best used to support Afghan security". Supposedly EF2 TAO is working with EF1 in getting after this problem but . . .
EF 1 Advisors Work with Other EFs. An example of Essential Function 1 Advisors working with advisors in other areas is provided by the RSM Facebook authors. They cite the recent transfer of the Regional Medical Hospital to the 201st ANA Corps in eastern Afghanistan as an example. Read more in this Facebook posting.
EF 1 Advisors at TAACs. Some EF 1 Advisors are located at the Train, Advise, and Assist Commands or TAACs. These advisor teams meet regularly with finance, procurement, and other functional specialists at Army Regional Corps Headquarters and Police Headquarters to train and advise on local resource management. The MoD and MoI will control and distribute some resources such as spare parts and fuel; however, the regional hqs of the Army and police buy some goods and services at the local level - such as food, wood, propone, building maintenance, construction projects, and vehicle maintenance. Some of these EF 1 Advisors will travel by air to other ANSF locations situated away from the TAAC location. Info for this paragraph taken from a RSM Facebook posting, February 11, 2015.
1. Text in this paragraph is taken from the RS
Security Force Assistance Guide 3.0, International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF), July 1, 2014.
2. See the Special Inspector General for
Afghanistan Reconstruction report entitled Afghan National Police:
More than $300 Million in Annual, U.S.-funded Salary Payments Is Based on
Partially Verified or Reconciled Data, SIGAR 15-26 Audit Report,
3. The contents of this paragraph were taken from a Resolute Support Mission Facebook posting dated February 8, 2015 at 8:30pm.
4. See RSM Essential Function 1: Resource
Management, RS News, February 2014. This Resolute Support Factsheet
5. See "From ISAF to RS: Denmark continues key role in Afghanistan - Danish GS-13 reflects on Constitution Day", DVIDS, June 4, 2015.
6. See "MoD, Resolute Support mentor finance and budget trainees", DVIDS, December 24, 2016.
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