Fabricated Events Led to Payment of Fraudulent Per Diems

18.07.2018

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Fraud

An external source reported the misuse of funds to the OIG in this case in which a number of training events and meetings were fabricated in order to facilitate the payment of cash advance per diems. In addition, the OIG found that a number of people received per diems for events that did take place, but at which the per diem recipients were not present.

Following receipt of an allegation from an external source and review by the Local Fund Agent (LFA), this OIG investigation found that over one hundred people claimed per diems for activities, training events or meetings for which no evidence could be found of ever having taken place.

The OIG also discovered that a number of people received cash per diems, although they had not participated in any activities. In total, over USD 50 thousand was identified by the OIG as non-compliant expenditure, and therefore recoverable.

The implementer initiated its own investigation into the misappropriation of funds and took disciplinary action against the individuals involved, who have now refunded most of the money to the Global Fund program.

Since this fraud came to light, the Global Fund Secretariat has worked with the implementers in this program to put appropriate measures in place to reduce the risk of paying cash advances. In addition, additional oversight resources, such as a Senior Accountant and Internal Auditor, have been embedded in order to conduct reviews and spot checks of payments.

More recently, the majority of per diems and transport allowances are no longer paid in cash, but by Electronic Funds Transfer by this implementer. The Global Fund Secretariat has also facilitated an in-country risk workshop to sensitize program staff to risk identification and mitigation.

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