CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Iraqi contractors supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom are now counting dinar instead of dollars on payday.
Another milestone in the country’s economic development was reached Oct. 14 when a 3rd Infantry Division finance office issued the first payment in Iraqi currency while in theater.
Local vendors and contractors were previously paid in U.S. dollars. This is the first time in all the rotations of Operation Iraqi Freedom that a dinar check payment has been issued to local vendors and contractors within the Baghdad area of operations.
This is a huge step according to Maj. Richard Santiago, commander of 3rd Finance Company, 3rd Soldier Support Battalion, Division Support Brigade, who said paying locals in dinar benefits both the Iraqi people and Coalition Forces.
“This is truly a win-win situation for all,” Santiago said. “Issuing dinar check payments improves the economic and financial stability of Iraq by promoting the Iraqi banks while using their local currency. It also decreases the cash requirements our finance offices need in order to meet mission requirements, as we are now able to pay the local vendors and contractors with a check instead of cash.”
Implementing the dinar payment took a lot of coordination between several agencies. The 18th Soldier Support Group, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Office of the Assistance Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller), the U.S. Treasury Department and the 3rd Finance Co. were all involved.
Source: Multi-National Force-Iraq