Fida investigation into misuse of funds in Zanzibar
In early summer 2022, Fida's Country Office in Tanzania received tip-offs from two local employees and one beneficiary regarding the possible misuse of funds in Fida’s development cooperation activities in Zanzibar. The suspicion was directed at one local employee of the Country Programme.
Fida launched a special audit, covering 2021 and the beginning of 2022, to investigate the matter. The audit was carried out by an independent external auditing company. The investigation found irregularities in the financial reporting related to 36,000 Euros of funding. The employee is suspected of falsifying receipts and reports.
Fida implements a Development Cooperation Country Programme in Tanzania in partnership with the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania (FPCT). The Church also employs the programme’s Tanzanian employees.
The person suspected of misconduct is an employee of FPCT and worked on activities implemented in the Zanzibar area. When the suspicion came to light, he was removed from his duties. His employer is responsible for the consequences.
Fida’s development cooperation Country Programme covers six working areas in Tanzania and its annual budget is 851,000 Euros. The Country Programme has been implemented successfully for many years.
The fraud of a single person
Fida’s Eastern Africa Programme Manager, Paula Konttinen, says that the exposed fraud shocked the staff of both Fida and FPCT, as the employee was a trusted member of the work community. Konttinen emphasizes that this is about the dishonesty of one employee.
– Other employees noticed that the documents in question were not all in order, and expressed their suspicions through our whistleblowing channel. Their actions show that our control mechanism works, even though individual cases of wrongdoing may still occur. In the administration of the Zanzibar working area, no suspicions have been raised previously.
In all of Fida’s Country Programmes, staff are obliged to report all suspicions regarding misuse of funds.
– For years, our partners in Eastern Africa have been trained in good financial management and corruption prevention. This fraud case, and the way in which suspicions were raised and later responded to, shows that this training has been effective, says Paula Konttinen.
After the fraud came to light, Fida worked with its partner, FPCT, to strengthen financial control and follow-up practices in the Tanzania Country Programme. The Country Programme’s personnel have also received additional training in financial management.
Fida has been a partner of FPCT for several decades. The partner also implements development cooperation projects with several other international organisations. FPCT has regulated structures and control practices in its development work.
– FPCT has addressed this case quickly. A culture of transparency and honesty has prevailed in the Church’s operations, Konttinen states.
The main donor of Fida’s development cooperation and the Tanzania Country Programme is the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Fida has officially notified the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the suspected fraud. The funds will be returned to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in accordance with the cooperation agreement.
For more information:
Director for Development Cooperation Anne Haverinen, 050 416 4076, firstname.lastname@example.org
Programme Manager Paula Konttinen, 050 918 5472, email@example.com
Communications Manager Kirsi Koski-Kujala, firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Specialist Joonas Haverinen, email@example.com