Funding investigations

Investigations provide assurance to donors and the international community that funding and aid is being allocated and used legally and for its intended purpose, helping to prevent and detect fraudulent activity.

We have extensive experience of high-profile international investigations. Often our clients need to use certain delivery partners, so we aim to provide detailed meaningful recommendations for future improvement and improved controls.

Our team has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience from working in more than 30 countries, and has over 70 years’ worth of combined experience. Team members are Hostile Environment Trained (HEAT) and are security vetted to ensure that the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality are maintained.

We work in partnership with governments, auditor generals, charities and NGOs, following the money trail and helping to prevent fraud and corruption in the international community. The team specialises in undertaking in-depth audit and forensic investigations into grants and bi-lateral/multilateral funding, providing audit-related technical assistance and supporting capacity development.

Using the extensive experience of RSM UK and RSM International, we bring together the necessary mix of skills to provide:

  • independent investigations to a variety of standards (including OIOS);
  • support to local systems (ie working to build the capacity of government auditors);
  • special purpose audits and governance investigation and reviews;
  • extensive data analytics and data forensics capacity;
  • supply chain due diligence and verifications;
  • test purchases and specialist procurement audits; and
  • last mile and beneficiary testing.

To find out more about our investigation services please contact Mark Sullivan, Head of International Development Consultancy.

Case study: investigations for East African government

The assignment

We were engaged by the auditor general of an East African country to undertake a forensic investigation of all government accounts following evidence of abuse. The assignment, funded by the donor community, was to:

  • provide independent assurance;
  • identify and track misappropriations;
  • provide the forensic evidence required to progress civil or criminal prosecutions; and
  • identify IFMIS security gaps, making recommendations which would improve and strengthen the IFMIS Security Policy.

Our work

We provided over 1,000 days of technical support between 2013 and 2018, which included:

  • analysing seven main government bank accounts;
  • manually reviewing over 360,000 unique transactions identified as high value, duplicate or suspicious;
  • tracing specific transactions;
  • undertaking price comparison exercises;
  • contacting third party suppliers; and
  • quantifying the level of over-charging linked to the deleted accounting entries and suspicious payments and over inflated procurements.

As a result, we issued subpoenas and court orders preparing 59 case files to support law enforcement.

Benefits to the client

As a result of our work various public reports were presented, and potential thefts of up to $42m were identified. Our work assisted local law enforcement agencies in assessing quantum for criminal benefit, securing successful convictions and recovering misappropriated assets which has since lead to more than 30 successful prosecutions. We made 56 recommendations which formed the basis for the World Bank country plan from 2015 onward.

The fraud is widely referred to as ‘Cashgate’ and was reported on by local and international media.