Goal funding part-suspended over alleged irregularities

Irish charity says it is working with USAid to have suspension on procurements lifted

Goal chief executive Barry Andrews: “Goal is not under investigation, it is a wider investigation involving a number of parties.”

Goal chief executive Barry Andrews: “Goal is not under investigation, it is a wider investigation involving a number of parties.”

 

American funding for aspects of Irish organisation Goal’s Syria aid programme has been suspended pending an investigation into alleged supply chain irregularities at the charity.

Goal said it was cooperating with the US office of the inspector general investigation.

In a statement, the charity said: “US funding for certain procurement aspects of Goal’s Syria aid programme (emergency food and NFI), has been suspended. Goal’s remaining ongoing and urgent humanitarian relief effort in Syria continues.”

It said: “As this investigation is ongoing and involves several third parties, Goal can make no further comment at this time.”

Earlier, the charity’s chief executive Barry Andrews said: “Goal is not under investigation, it is a wider investigation involving a number of parties. We are limited in what we can say. We are working with USAid on an hourly basis in an effort to have the suspension on our procurements lifted.”

He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that an internal investigation has begun “to find whatever shortcomings or vulnerabilities we have in our procurement process. The investigation is focused on supply chain irregularities and involves multi-parties”.

Mr Andrews said that the issue had been brought to their attention a month ago and Goal suspended its own programmes before USAid instructed them to do so. “That happened about eight days ago. Since then we have been working very hard with USAid to keep the pipeline to Syria open.”

A USAid spokesman said: “The USAid Office of Inspector General (OIG) has raised concerns about potential mismanagement of some aspects of humanitarian aid programs for Syria by an implementer based in Turkey. An investigation is underway for the programs identified by the OIG.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the matter is “a cause for serious concern”, adding that “we have this morning demanded as a matter of urgency a detailed report from Goal on the overall situation and on any implications for Irish Aid funding.”

Goal’s programme in Syria is the largest in its history. The charity says it regularly reaches more than 400,000 people with food assistance, and its “WASH” programme brought safe water to over 655,000 people in 2015.