Although significant progress was made since the last Board meeting on implementing agreed management actions, the total number of overdue AMAs and the proportion of overdue AMAs have both increased.
This information was contained in a paper prepared by the Office of the Inspector General for the Board meeting on 16-17 November. The paper included a response from the Secretariat.
AMAs are actions that the Secretariat has agreed to implement following findings in OIG audits and investigation.
Since the last update to the Board, 66 AMAs were implemented and closed while 68 new AMAs were issued. Fifty-one percent of the open AMAs are currently overdue. This ratio stood at 49% in December 2014. The OIG said that “the current pace is not sufficient to further reduce the number of overdue AMAs.” (See table below).
Table: Aging of overdue AMAs (excluding recoveries)
The OIG said that it is particularly concerned about 13 AMAs that are more than 180 days overdue because they relate to key risk areas identified by the OIG, such as:
- reviewing and improving the risk management processes and methodologies;
- inculcating a culture of risk accountability and transparency through the work of the Risk and Assurance working group;
- establishing a decision-making and accountability framework;
- strengthening data governance and document management;
- completing grant closures; and
- improving in-country procurement quantification and forecasting.
The OIG said that subsequent audit and investigation work continues to highlight the impact of deficiencies in these areas.
The OIG said that many of these AMAs are quite broad and complex in scope, and relate to long-standing and deeply rooted systems and policy issues. As a result of a review of the AMAs by the OIG and the Secretariat, some recommendations that related to the same root cause were grouped into a single AMA, which ended up broader in scope than would usually be expected from AMAs. The OIG said that a number of the long overdue AMAs are a result of this process and thus require more work.
In its response, the Secretariat said that it agreed with the OIG that “we must do better, particularly with respect to long outstanding actions.”
The Secretariat said that one of reasons some actions can remain outstanding for extended periods of time is that, in the current reporting format, 100% of the work must be done for an AMA to be closed. This applies, for example, to the actions concerning grant closures. When the original AMA was described, 247 grants needed to be closed. Of these, 182 have now been closed, leaving 65 outstanding. However, 36 of these cannot yet be closed for valid reasons, such as outstanding recoveries.
At their meeting on 16-17 November, many Board members expressed concern about the overdue AMAs.
The Status Update on OIG AMAs, Board Document GF-B34-07, should be available shortly at www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/meetings/34.