About 45 employees from treasuries throughout the Salah Ad Din Province are undergoing training in Tikrit, Iraq, to streamline financial operations in the region.
Capt. Christopher B. Emery, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 106th Finance Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, recently paid a visit to the main treasury in Tikrit to observe training firsthand. The Treasury Automation Project is the brainchild of the 106th Finance Bn., and comes with a price tag of $334,000. Funding derived not from Multi-National Forces, but the Development Fund for Iraq, money seized from Saddam Hussein’s regime.
“Building a strong treasury is going to keep the violence down,” said Emery, who calls Manchester, N.J., hometown. “The treasury is going to make sure each employee is being paid the correct amount and on time.”
When the Wurzburg, Germany-based finance unit first arrived in Tikrit, there were pay issues among some Iraqis.
“This project has enabled the Salah Ad Din treasury to be at the cutting-edge,” Emery said. “To be able to instantaneously affect treasury offices, budgets and civilian payrolls throughout this area. It’s going to ensure the building blocks for (Electronic Funds Transfer) are established in Iraq.”
“EFT will be a huge step for this country,” he said. “It is paramount.”
Treasury employees are learning basic computer skills in accounting, cash management, forecasting and budgeting.
“When we first went out into the treasury, everything was hand written, memos signed and hand delivered all throughout the province,” Emery said. “Now with the Internet they are able to send budget and policy updates almost instantaneously.”