17 October 2014
The OIG audit found controls over financial management and program performance to be generally effective in Myanmar. There were no serious stock-outs of medicines, however, given the country’s weak infrastructure, stock management was inadequate and the supply chain fragmented. The OIG also identified gaps in the general assurance framework on Global Fund grants. Working with grant recipients, the Global Fund is taking steps to address these issues both at a local and an institutional level.
The OIG audited the six Global Fund grants to Myanmar using a tailored approach to examine the controls in place to safeguard future investments. This is to ensure that grants have the greatest possible impact and that the citizens of Myanmar receive quality and timely treatment. The audit covered the period from January 2012 to December 2013 using a sample of 40 health centers and storage facilities covering 41% of all patients on antiretroviral treatment in the nation.
The Global Fund Secretariat has put in place strong controls over financial management in Myanmar. The selection of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Save the Children as Principal Recipients was largely because of their strong financial management. At the level of the sub-recipients, however, there were weaknesses, for example, over cash handling. The Global Fund has committed to ensuring that stronger controls are implemented over cash management at a sub-recipient level.
Regarding health services and products, the OIG found no serious stock-outs or expiries of medicines, which were generally delivered on time. However, Myanmar has poor transport infrastructure in many parts of the country, and an erratic electricity supply. Stock management and storage conditions at health facilities audited were poor. The Global Fund plans to strengthen the controls in place over the quality and safety of the health products in the Myanmar supply chain.
As with the majority of Global Fund grant portfolios, OIG auditors also identified gaps in assurance provision, for example, over program performance, sub-recipient controls and the quality of health products. This has been acknowledged by the Global Fund Secretariat which has put in place a high-level Risk and Assurance Working Group to better articulate and formalize the assurance framework around grant funds.
Active Global Fund grants to Myanmar total US$ 462.2 million, of which US$ 183.9 million had been disbursed by 31 December 2013. Currently, 65,000 people are on antiretroviral therapy, 104,000 new smear-positive tuberculosis cases have been detected and treated and 1.9 million bed nets have been distributed.
The Office of the Inspector General works to ensure that the Global Fund invests the world’s money in the most effective way possible in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Through audits, investigations, oversight and consultancy work, it makes objective and transparent recommendations to promote good practice, reduce risk and condemn abuse.
Established in 2005, the Office of the Inspector General is an independent yet integral part of the Global Fund. It is accountable to the Board through its Audit and Ethics Committee and serves the interests of all Global Fund stakeholders. Its work conforms to the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Uniform Guidelines for Investigations of the Conference of International Investigators.
The Office of the Inspector General believes that every dollar counts and has zero tolerance for fraud, corruption and waste. Through its whistle-blowing channels, the Office of the Inspector General encourages all to come forward to point out any irregularities that prevent Global Fund resources from reaching those who need them.