International media companies have until 24 November to submit bids for the one-year cost-plus-fee contract, which also has two six-month extension options.

The contract includes the refurbishment and repair of infrastructure, the provision of programming, the expansion of the national newspaper network and the training of a local workforce. It is scheduled to begin on 1 January 2004.

According to the solicitation notice, the CPA is seeking a contractor to develop the Iraqi Media Network (IMN) into a ‘world-class radio and television broadcasting and newspaper publishing organisation.’ IMN has taken over Saddam Hussein’s 18 television stations, the government radio station and Al-Sabbah, the 60,000-circulation national newspaper. Management of IMN is currently contracted out to US defence contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).