Government officials and members of parliament said Iraqi ministries have improved noticeably during the 100-day period Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki set to implement reforms and provide better services.
Officials said Wednesday (June 8th) that the 100-day period was not enough to improve services or bring performance to the required level, but said the period was a step in the right direction.
"What has been achieved during the previous period exceeded expectations. The most important thing is creating the spirit of competition and wiping out complacency, boredom and overstaffing in the work of government offices," said Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq.
Al-Mutlaq said the government needs more time to finish projects and improve services, which "are still below the required level".
"The government came to function for four years, not a hundred days, and is carrying a major beneficial program."
Al-Mutlaq said some of the projects Iraqi ministries are implementing require months to start operating, such as electricity projects that need 15 months to complete.
"Citizens can see the degree of seriousness of work by going out to the street and seeing the reconstruction campaigns and the constant activity by various foreign and local companies," he said.
Al-Maliki set the 100-day period on February 27th for all Iraqi ministries to improve their performance and the quality of services provided to citizens.
After 100 days, al-Maliki promised to conduct evaluations of the government's performance and that of each ministry to determine how successfully the ministry fulfilled its duties.
Al-Maliki started the evaluations on Tuesday during cabinet meetings. Representatives of each ministry gave a speech and fielded questions about the ministry's performance.
Based on al-Maliki's instructions, all evaluation sessions are being aired on television.
During a press conference on Tuesday, al-Maliki said the 100-day period led to joint coordination between ministries and the provinces.
"Everyone was doing his work continuously during that period, so that all of them turned into a bee hive and are in a constant state of activity," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahristani was the first to be questioned. He said production of Iraqi oil reached more than 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) during the 100-day period. During the same period last year, production was about 2.2 million bpd.
"The revenues realized from oil exports for the past five months reached $34.1 billion, compared with the $25.4 billion in revenues estimated in the budget. This means a surplus of $8.7 billion in revenue," he said.
Minister of Oil Abdul Karim al-Laibi said during the evaluation session that his ministry stored enough fuel to operate private generators for free to provide a temporary solution to the electricity shortage.
"The ministry also succeeded in awarding contracts for the development of the gas fields of Akkaz, Mansouriyah and Seeba -- the major Iraqi gas fields -- to Korean, Kazakhstani, Canadian and American companies during the said period, which will contribute to creating major activity in Iraq's economy and the employment of manpower," al-Laibi said.
Hussein al-Saffi, a member of the Iraqi parliament's energy committee, said the 100-day evaluation period did not solve all the government's problems, but "it was an important period because it assured the Iraqi public that there are constant efforts and a forward drive in Iraq."
"Parliament will wait for the government evaluation of the performance of every minister," he said. "Afterward, the work of the ministries will be discussed in parliament, where it will be possible to decide whether a minister has succeeded or failed in his work. This would then decide whether or not he should continue in his office."
Shareef Salman, a member of the parliament's services committee, said more still needs to be done to improve the work of government ministries.
"The period has succeeded as a project to study the state of services, to target the flaws and start the remedy, but it was not enough, and for many ministries, it did not accomplish all of its objectives," he said.
Khalid al-Alwani, a member of the parliament's integrity committee, said, "The Iraqi people are waiting to see numbers and achievements made by the government during the past 100 days."
"The people know well that this task will not work like a magician's wand to solve all the problems, but at the same time, it was a start for solving a number of them."