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'Collusion at senior levels' of Ugandan government agencies led to aid fraud - report

The misappropriation of €4 million Irish aid in Uganda was supported by a ‘sophisticated and elaborate’ scheme.

Irish Aid officials arrive at Leinster House to answer questions from the Committee on Foreign Affiars and Trade relating to the misappropriation of funds.
Irish Aid officials arrive at Leinster House to answer questions from the Committee on Foreign Affiars and Trade relating to the misappropriation of funds.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A REPORT INTO the misappropriation of €4 million in Irish aid sent to Uganda was facilitated by “collusion at senior levels”, an interim report on matter has revealed.

The Department of Foreign Affairs report has described a “sophisticated and elaborate” scheme which was used to bypass controls by the people responsible for implementing them.

The report noted that while ‘weaknesses or non-application of controls’by both the donors and the Ugandan government made such fraud easier and may have delayed earlier detection, it concluded the fraud could only have been perpetrated by “a level of collusion that would not have been reasonably anticipated”.

It is clear from the audit report that there was collusion at senior levels and across three key agencies – the Office of the Prime Minister, the Accountant General’s Office (including Treasury) within the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and the Bank of Uganda.

The reports comes in the wake of news that €4 million in Irish Aid being misappropriated in the country and the subsequent halting of all aid payments from Ireland to Uganda.

Audits currently being undertaken in Uganda could take until late next year to be completed.

Read: the interim report in full>
Read: Tánaiste “absolutely disgusted” after alleged Uganda aid fraud

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