(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) is releasing the contract between Science Application International Corporation (SAIC) and the U.S. Defense Department (Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance – ORHA) from 2003. The contract shows that Shaha Riza, the companion of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, now caught up in a scandal involving her salary raises, did work for SAIC from March 2003 to May 2003. GAP is also releasing the Department of Defense’s Inspector General’s (DoDIG) assessment of the contract, which shows that a DoD official specifically requested Shaha Riza to work on the contract.
The contract is available here.
The DoDIG assessment is available here.
The contract names Riza on page nine as a “subject matter expert,” (SME) in the “Governance Group.” It states that the SMEs will “assist in facilitating the political transformation of post-conflict Iraq into a free and democratic nation.” Furthermore, the contract states the SMEs will “provide analysis, advice, and recommendations on public advocacy, voter education, economic and business development, international and regional political relations, the role of women in government, and government reform.”
The DoDIG report states that (p. 8), regarding the selection of the SMEs (Riza):
[A]n email from one DCMA [Defense Contract Management Agency] specialist, dated March 21, 2003, to another DCMA specialist stated:
Four names, attached, are contractors that [ORHA Official] wants hired for the ‘Governance Group.’ I’m going to get more details. But wanted to forward to you soonest. Perhaps you can check with SAIC to see if they already have these guys on their list, or any other info.
Contract DASW01-03-F-0537 was awarded 6 days later (March 27, 2003) to fulfill the requirement.
This contract in question is Shaha Riza’s, and this document shows that an unnamed ORHA official specifically identifies individuals who should be contracted.
The actual contract shows that these SMEs reported directly to Douglas Feith, then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. That position is a principal advisor to and directly under the Deputy Secretary of Defense, who at the time was Paul Wolfowitz.
The Inspector General’s report also finds that, on a series of contracts issued to SAIC, decisions were made regarding the hiring of specific people, including Riza, before the contract’s terms of reference were determined. In other words, DoD placed greater emphasis on who did the work than on the type of work that was needed.