By David Hubler
Special to the Washington Post
Monday, March 19, 2007
BearingPoint of McLean has won a five-year, $218.6 million contract from the Agency for International Development to help modernize and upgrade ministerial, private-sector and educational services in Afghanistan.
The Afghans Building Capacity Program contract is one of USAID's largest individual awards for economic reform and private-sector development since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
BearingPoint will work with USAID and the Afghan government to train government, public-sector and education officials in performing essential tasks such as budget preparation and disbursement, interagency coordination and human resources. Graduate programs set up at Afghan universities will give middle managers the opportunity to earn advanced degrees.
Mid-level managers and officials in Kabul and the provinces will receive on-the-job training, individual coaching and classroom instruction, said Pat Bryski, managing director of BearingPoint's emerging markets practice and head of the financial and private-sector development program in Afghanistan.
"It may [include] taking them to another country, Poland for example, to expose them to best practices on how an emerged country might execute a budget or manage their human resource management processes within a ministry, a business or a university," Bryski said. "It's meant to be a very multifaceted program that gives many tools to meet the needs of the Afghan government."
A BearingPoint launch team is already in Afghanistan developing specifics of the programs and determining how many specialists will be needed to run them.
BearingPoint has been working in Afghanistan since 2002, when a team of 30 technicians and financial experts helped rebuild the Afghan banking system and its commercial interests.
The two previous USAID contracts focused on economics and a few select ministries, said James Horner, senior vice president of BearingPoint's emerging markets practice.
"What this new program does is it goes into quite a few parts of the government in Afghanistan that have not really been touched and not really been part of previous USAID programs," he said
David Hubler is an associate editor with Washington Technology. For information on this and other contracts, go tohttp://www.washingtontechnology.com.