25 February 2015
Unlike other audit reports, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) carried out this review before the implementation of a Secretariat proposal in Ethiopia, one of the biggest recipients of Global Fund grants. The proposal is to move US$ 426 million of grants in Ethiopia to a model known as National Strategy Financing by the end of 2016. National Strategy Financing is a results-based financing model that aligns with national systems and allows for more flexible use of grant funds within pre-agreed parameters.
The OIG concluded that the Secretariat has no mechanism to formally develop and approve new models of grant management. This was demonstrated in the case of Ethiopia by insufficient due diligence performed to identify and mitigate critical risks before implementation. The OIG also observed that internal controls in the country were still in construction and that the assurances over grant objectives were fragmented and uncoordinated.
As a result, the Secretariat has agreed to the following: to assess the validity of pursuing National Strategy Financing on a case by case basis and to adopt a mechanism for developing and approving alternative grant management modalities, to adopt a phased approach to address systems weaknesses in the Ethiopian environment of internal controls and to develop an assurance plan, in conjunction with development partners and donors.
Invited by the Secretariat to perform this pre-implementation review, the OIG looked at the rigor and robustness of processes in place at the Global Fund as well as the design of the following systems in country: data collection, monitoring and evaluation, financial management of Global Fund grants, and procurement and the supply chain.
To date, Ethiopia has received over US$1.6 billion in Global Fund grants. There are 330,000 people currently on antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, 42 million bed nets have been distributed to protect children and families from malaria, and over 418,000 people have been tested and treated for tuberculosis.
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.