Coalition Provisional Authority set to buttress IT operations

The CIO's office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq is set to increase its staff from 2,300 to 6,300 in coming weeks as additional funds flow for the country's reconstruction, said Joe Draham, senior adviser and counselor to the authority's chief operating officer.

'That's basically for the group that supports CPA headquarters,' Draham said, speaking by telephone from Baghdad this morning. 'As you have additional contractors [added to the U.S. contingent] they pay fees for hookups on their desks.'

Army Col. Tom Catudal is the authority's CIO. He is in charge 'of the day-to-day operations to make the networks and the Internet links work, to make sure people can communicate,' Draham, a former GTSI Corp. executive, said.

He said Catudal's office is poised to approve another contract for network support. The CPA issues its contracts through the Army's Communications and Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, N.J., and the Agency for International Development, he said.

'The CPA has thousands of workstations,' Draham said. Catudal's office provides IT support to authority staff members and contractors in Baghdad's 'green zone' of federal government and contractor operations and beyond, he said. 'There is not enough room in the green zone to house all the organizations' involved in the Iraq reconstruction process, Draham said.

The chief operating officer of the authority is retired Army Lt. Gen. Joseph "Keith" Kellogg, the Joint Chiefs of Staff's former director
of command, control, communications and computers.

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