Board Decisions

GF/B12/DP17


Approved by the Board on:
16 December 2005


Report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services

The Board recognizes the commitment of the Fund management to implement the recommendations and the findings of the WHO Office of Internal Oversight Services report.

The Board acknowledges its own responsibility to oversee appropriate follow-on measures and ensure that systems and processes for personal and institutional accountability are enforced.

Therefore, the Board decides to establish an ad hoc Oversight Committee to oversee the following:

1. On contracts, payments, and recruitment

  • The Board finds the proposed actions in the Response of the Management appropriate
  • The Board requests that the management present an action plan to the Oversight Committee of the Board for review and approval
  • The Board requests that the Oversight Committee report to the 13thBoard meeting
  • The Board requests that the Oversight Committee involve the Fund's Inspector General in this process

2. On involvement of family members of Fund staff

  • The Board finds the proposed action in the Response of the Management appropriate
  • The Board requests that the management present an action plan to the Board's Ethics Committee
  • The Board requests that the Ethics Committee review the action plan and report to the 13thBoard meeting

3. Furthermore, the Board requests that the Ethics Committee review and make recommendations to strengthen the Fund's conflict of interest policy in light of the deliberations of the 12th Board meeting.

4. The Board requests the Fund's Deputy Executive Director, together with the Fund's Legal Counsel, to prepare appropriate excerpts from the IOS report to be presented to relevant employees with respect to whom there have been adverse findings in the report. Taking into account their responses, Fund management should take measures to determine who is responsible for any improprieties in order to document accountability. In this process, protection of whistleblowers is also essential.

5. The Board requests the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board to ensure that the IOS report as a whole and the Response of the Management are taken into account in the annual performance evaluation of the Fund's Executive Director.

6. The Board directs the Executive Director to provide a full report at the 13th Board meeting on steps taken to improve oversight of compliance with existing Global Fund and WHO policies and procedures, including those already developed in response to the Report.

7. The Board decides that the mandate of the Fund's Inspector General includes oversight of the implementation of this decision point. The Board further requests that, in advance of the 13th Board meeting, the Inspector General and the Oversight Committee report to the Board about progress in preparations and implementation called for in this decision point.

The Board approves the Statement of the Board for public release regarding the report of the IOS of the WHO on allegations of improprieties in the operations of the Global Fund:

Statement

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria has in its first three years of operations achieved significant results that are saving lives. It strives to operate with the highest level of integrity and transparency to ensure that resources provided are properly utilized and focused on providing life-saving services in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

The Board received allegations in July 2005 involving contracting and payments, recruitment of staff, and the involvement of a family member. These allegations concerned activities within the Secretariat in Geneva.

Acting immediately, the Board Chair and Vice Chair and the Executive Director referred the allegations to the WHO's Office of Internal Oversight Services (IOS), which after a substantial review provided a Report to the Board.

Based on the IOS Report and a review by its Ethics Committee, the Board finds that:

  • There was no evidence of fraud and misuse of funds.
  • There was no evidence of violations of the Policy on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Global Fund Institutions, though there were actions that created concerns about lack of transparency.
  • There were instances of violation of established Global Fund and WHO rules and procedures.

In response, the Board takes the following actions:

  • A new Ad Hoc Committee is established to facilitate Board oversight of corrective measures being taken by Secretariat management.
  • The Office of Inspector General will advise the Board on progress made by the Secretariat in implementing recommendations made in the Report and related directives of the Board, as well as to propose additional improvements that might be needed.
  • The Executive Director is directed to provide a full report at the next Board meeting (April 2006) on steps taken to improve oversight of compliance with existing Global Fund and WHO policies and procedures, including those already developed in response to the Report.

In addition to these allegations, the Board also received concerns about Secretariat culture and morale, which it takes seriously. The Global Fund's success depends on the hard work and commitment of its staff. Therefore, the Deputy Executive Director has already been tasked by the Board with responding to these concerns and is now directed to provide a comprehensive progress report at the next Board meeting.