08 March 2016
An Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit of the planning, implementation and monitoring processes of Global Fund strategy concluded that planning for the next strategic cycle, from 2017-2022, has greatly improved. However, significant issues exist in implementation and monitoring processes for the current 2012-2016 strategy. The Secretariat has a number of plans to address the flaws identified in the audit.
In November 2011, the Global Fund Board approved a strategy called ‘Investing for Impact’ for the period 2012-2016. The new strategy was designed as an ambitious framework to transform the Global Fund into a more efficient and effective organization to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The organization is currently planning a new strategy for 2017- 2022, due to be approved by the Board in April 2016.
The objective of this audit was not to review the content of the current or the future Global Fund strategy. Rather, the auditors considered the processes that enable the organization to decide, implement and assess the impact of the content. To do this, the OIG analysed Global Fund and Board documents, interviewed Board and committee members as well as staff and benchmarked the Global Fund against industry good practices.
The OIG noted that the planning process for the next strategic cycle is a significant improvement from the 2012-2016 exercise. For example, there were extensive consultations with over 330 key stakeholders representing 130 countries before the new strategy was drafted. However, as confirmed by stakeholders interviewed by the OIG, there could be better data to support strategic decisions, particularly around gender differences, health and community systems.
In terms of implementation, the OIG found processes in place were weak with ambiguous ownership and accountability, a lack of annual implementation plans to translate long-term strategy into short-term activities, multiple ad-hoc projects that were unrelated to the overall strategy and inadequate governance and project management capability.
The auditors also identified ineffective processes to monitor organizational performance with a weak Key Performance Indicator framework and limited reporting on grant portfolio results.
The Global Fund has recognized the existing problems from the current strategy and is putting in place corrective actions. A Project Management Office has recently been created to ensure that all initiatives across the organization are prioritized to support the achievement of the organization’s strategy, have clear and time-bound deliverables, and are managed appropriately to ensure successful delivery. The Global Fund also plans to improve reporting to the Board and its committees on the results of funding to the Global Fund’s top 20 countries.
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The Office of the Inspector General safeguards the assets, investments, reputation and sustainability of the Global Fund by ensuring that it takes the right action to defeat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Through audits, investigations and consultancy work, it promotes good practice, reduces risk and reports fully and transparently on 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 Global Fund 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 speak out to report fraud, abuse and human rights violations that prevent Global Fund resources from reaching those who need them.