An investigation of Danish assistance to education in the Zambezia province in Mozambique has uncovered extensive deficiencies in the programme administration.
Based on suspected irregularities the Danish Embassy in Maputo initiated an investigation of the education sector programme in the Zambezia province in Mozambique, which receives Danish assistance. The preliminary part of the audit has just been completed and it shows extensive deficiencies in the programme administration, including non-compliance with procedures and rules and a lack of documentation for and approval of the expenses paid under the programme. The irregularities concern a substantial part of the payments made under the programme, but it is as yet not possible to put a figure on the irregularities and any suspected fraud.
Based on the preliminary investigation it is estimated that the deficiencies concern up to 1/3 of the audited almost 3000 vouchers. It is suspected that part of the deficiencies may result from fraudulent use of Danish assistance funds. However, this needs to be investigated further.
Pending the outcome of this investigation, it has been decided to suspend all new activities and payments under the education programme. Only activities covered by a contractual obligation with third parties will be continued and under more rigorous supervision.
The Embassy in Maputo has made a written request to Mozambique’s Minister of Finance for an investigation of the matter, including involvement of the Ministry’s own internal audit function. Furthermore, the Mozambique Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance will be involved in the final stages of the forensic audit with a view to determining the scope and nature of the irregularities and to assigning responsibility for any possible fraud, including determining whether to notify the police or involve the unit for economic crime under the Mozambique Chief Public Prosecutor.
Edited December 9, 2005