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Tánaiste suspends aid to Ugandan Government and announces investigation of fraud allegations

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has suspended all Irish assistance channelled through the Government of Uganda and announced an immediate investigation into allegations of the misappropriation of funds in the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda.

The Auditor General of Uganda has been carrying out a special investigation into the handling of aid funds by the Office of the Prime Minister. His draft report, which has just been made available to donors in Kampala, finds that there has been significant financial mismanagement in relation to the Peace Recovery and Development Programme for Northern Uganda.

The Auditor General has found that funding received from Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark last year was transferred to unauthorised accounts. His draft report states that up to €4 million in Irish Aid funding provided in 2011 was transferred to an unauthorised account of the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Tánaiste stated:

I am deeply concerned by what I have learned today of the findings of the investigation by the Auditor General of Uganda into the management of aid funds by the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda. At this stage, it seems clear that funding provided last year by Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark for the rebuilding of Northern Uganda... was transferred to unauthorised accounts in the Office of the Prime Minister. I have instructed that a team of officials from my Department travel immediately to Uganda to investigate the findings of the Auditor General, in close cooperation with other affected aid donors, and to report back to me next week....

I have asked our Ambassador in Kampala to underline to the Ugandan authorities the seriousness with which the Government regard the findings of the Auditor General and our insistence that the funds are restored without delay.

The Government will not provide financial support under our development cooperation programme unless it is clear that Irish money is being spent for the purpose for which it was allocated. Pending the satisfactory resolution of this matter, I have instructed that no further aid funding should be provided through Ugandan government systems

Read the full press release here