Global Fund Asks Outside Investigator to Probe Mismanagement Allegations Brought by Two Employees
August 3, 2005
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has asked the World Health Organization's Office of Internal Oversight Services to investigate charges of mismanagement within the fund, the Wall Street Journal reports. The accusations were brought last month by two Global Fund employees and include allegations that officials awarded contracts without adhering to established procedures, hired a mid-level manager without proper screening and allowed the wife of Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem to work on the organization's procurement system (Phillips, Wall Street Journal, 8/3). In a memo to the Global Fund board of directors, Feachem said he is calling for the investigation to "ensure that in [the] future there are very clear guidelines as to due process and accountability." He also said he has requested that Global Fund Deputy Executive Director Helen Evans look into the separate issues of "staff turnover and organizational culture" (Jack, Financial Times, 8/2). Jon Liden, a Global Fund spokesperson, said that the fund's managers believe the accusations are "overblown" and that no charges of corruption have been brought. He said officials frequently use single-source contracts to accelerate the delivery of money to developing countries. In addition, Liden said that Neelam Sekhri, Feachem's wife and a health specialist, offered "unpaid, voluntary advice" on a computerized procurement system but stopped working on the system after questions were raised about her involvement in the organization run by her husband (Wall Street Journal, 8/3). Feachem on Tuesday said, "These are strictly internal, routine matters," adding, "Certain allegations have been made which concern processes and do not in any way imply fraud" (Financial Times, 8/2). Liden said the investigation likely will begin in a few weeks (Wall Street Journal, 8/3).
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