Regarding recent publications about the Global Fund’s Office of Inspector General report on one Sub-Recipient (CYST) procurement irregularitiesJul 14, 2015
Over the past twelve years the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria provided to Tajikistan more than 148mln USD to support the implementation of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programmes and enable thousands of people in Tajikistan to receive improved quality of care, reduce new infections and keep people alive.
With this generous support from the Global Fund and successful management by UNDP, as a Principal Recipient of these grants, Tajikistan made a tremendous progress in combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. Current incidence of malaria is close to zero, bringing the country towards attainment of Millennium Development Goal 6 objective of malaria free status by the end of 2015 with only 7 malaria cases detected in 2014 compared to 30,000 cases in 1997. A notable decrease in the prevalence of HIV among risk groups of population has been achieved. Technical and financial support to the national blood services helped to ensure 100% testing of blood samples for HIV and other infectious diseases and around 2166 people living with HIV were getting antiretroviral treatment by the end of 2014 compared with 635 people in 2010. Provision of modern equipment, improvement of hospital infrastructure and extensive countrywide training have resulted in a reduction of both TB incidence and TB mortality rates. Only during the last two years TB incidence rate decreased from 67.7 per 100.000 in 2013 to 65.8 per 100.000 in 2014 while the mortality rate decreased from 4.9 in 2013 to 4.6 per 100,000 in 2014. In 2014 treatment was provided to all 6.461 people
These achievements were possible due to a strong partnership with a large number of governmental and civil society (INGOs and local NGOs) institutions in Tajikistan acting as Sub-Recipients of the Global Fund grants. UNDP Tajikistan has allocated additional its own resources every year since 2005, beyond the Global Fund grants, for successful capacity development of more than 40 local Government and non-government institutions which has been instrumental in achieving these important results and reaching the population groups most affected by the three diseases.
Nonetheless, unfortunately one case of fraudulent procurement practice was identified with a single Sub-Recipient during programme implementation in 2011-2012. The case was investigated by the Global Fund’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) in close collaboration with UNDP Office of Audit and Investigation and UNDP Country Office in Tajikistan. The investigation found irregularities in the procurement process, lack of evidence of a competitive tender process for the procurement contracts and overpricing for non-health products. The identified overpriced amount is US$116,726, which represent 0,078% of total funds provided by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to Tajikistan.
UNDP Tajikistan has taken very seriously the findings and took immediate actions to additionally strengthen the systems for prevention and detection of similar issues. In this regard, UNDP CO management, after consultation with the Global Fund, developed a comprehensive plan for enhancement of controls at different steps of Sub-Recipients engagement, including budget checks, capacity assessments and training to cover procurement, supply chain and financial management, which is currently under implementation. Among other measures, the monitoring (including field visits) has been strengthened and tighter controls over received Sub-Recipients reports were introduced.
UNDP Tajikistan–strongly supports governmental institutions and international organizations along with local partners to strengthen transparency, accountability and non-corrupt practices. According to local media, the authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan are taking measures against the above mentioned identified fraudulent procurement practice. UNDP Tajikistan welcomes and fully supports the Government of Tajikistan efforts to ensure accountability and transparency and measures against such fraudulent practices.
UNDP continuously pays serious attention to any irregularities and ensures not only oversight but also stronger capacity of our Sub-Recipients to prevent such issues in the future. UNDP will continue to support the Government of Tajikistan towards reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS and TB and eliminate Malaria.
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Mr. Safarbek Soliev – External Relations Analyst, at email@example.com