19 January 2018
The OIG found over US$110,000 of non-compliant expenditures at the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP), a recipient of Global Fund grants in Bangladesh. NTP staff falsified mostly training-related documents between July 2015 and September 2016. The fraudulent activities were made possible by breaches of financial management standard operating procedures and procurement rules that were overlooked by NTP senior management. The Global Fund is seeking to recover the full amount as well as ensuring that NTP puts in place stronger financial management controls.
NTP’s head office fraudulently charged procurements for training events, including stationery and publicity materials totaling US$107,000, to the Global Fund. Staff forged signatures; falsified invoices and inventory record documents; to give the impression that materials and services were delivered when, in fact, they were not.
In addition, some NTP head office support employees received per diem payments for district-level training activities that they did not attend. The OIG also found smaller sums of fraudulent procurements at the district level amounting to approximately US$4000.
After receiving the OIG’s findings, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare took steps to address some of issues identified by the investigation, including removing the NTP staff responsible for the financial irregularities from training and finance-related activities. The Global Fund has imposed tight controls on any further training activities that it finances and has already recovered some of the non-compliant funds.
The OIG has also recently published an audit of Global Fund grant arrangements in Bangladesh available here.
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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.