04 November 2019
In August 2018, the email account of a Procurement Specialist at Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Social Action (MHSA), the Principal Recipient for the Global Fund’s Tuberculosis/RSSH grant, was hacked. Fraudsters posing as suppliers instructed the Procurement Specialist to make a planned payment for the purchase of tuberculosis diagnostic equipment to a third-party bank account in Eastern Europe. MHSA’s Division of Finance Administration and Staff subsequently instructed their bank to transfer US$481,541 to this new account.
The fraud came to light afterwards, when the Procurement Specialist copied a genuine supplier employee in an email to the fraudsters. Insufficient vigilance, controls and reporting at MHSA, most notably controls related to changing beneficiaries’ bank account details, allowed the fraud to succeed. There was no evidence of collusion between the Procurement Specialist and the fraudsters.
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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.