Office of the Inspector General

Global Fund Grants in Sierra Leone

06 December 2022

The Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund (OIG) found that Integrated Health Project Administration Unit (IHPAU) procurement staff members within Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) were involved in fraudulent and collusive practices for both malaria and Health Management Information System training. They imitated a competitive selection of suppliers that responded to the Request for Quotation (RFQ). Pre-selected bidders colluded with other suppliers and supplied IHPAU procurement staff with blank invoices. The invoices were then filled in with prices to ensure a certain "winner" would emerge from the three bids per district.

From January to April 2020, IHPAU procured catering suppliers for malaria training courses at a cost of SLE*  3.44 billion (US$353,113), financed under SLE-Z-MOHS. Similarly, in August 2020, MOHS conducted training events on how to use the Health Management Information System (HMIS), for which IHPAU procured catering services for SLE 604.78 million (US$62,035) under the same grant.

The OIG did not find evidence that the scheme was set up for IHPAU procurement staff to solicit kickbacks. Nevertheless, by implementing the scheme IHPAU, violates the Code of Conduct for Principal Recipients. The OIG considers the total value of the training (US$415,148) as non-compliant.

To mitigate similar risks, the Fiscal Agent now reviews and must approve all IHPAU procurements above US$2,500 in cases where the RFQ method is used. Furthermore, the use of caterers is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, and with prior approval by the Global Fund Secretariat. Instead, training participants are paid an allowance for lunch and refreshments through mobile money.

  • Global Fund Grants in Sierra Leone (GF-OIG-22-020 - 6 December 2022)
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*Referred to as SLL before April 2022