Foreign Affairs Committee concerned at misappropriation of aid funds in Uganda

October 25th, 2012 - Pat Breen

25th October 2012

The Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade has expressed its deep concern at allegations of misappropriation of Irish Aid funds in the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda.

Committee chairman, Pat Breen TD, welcomed the decision by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD to suspend all Irish assistance channelled through the Government of Uganda and the decision to send a team of officials, led by the Evaluation and Audit Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs, to investigate the issue. The chairman noted that the matter was brought to light by the office of Ugandan Auditor General which has been receiving technical and financial assistance from Ireland to build the skills and capacity required for complex investigations like this.

Deputy Breen said: “These allegations are serious and disturbing. The Committee is deeply concerned that Irish Aid money may have been misappropriated and not used for the purpose it was intended. Misappropriation of aid funding cannot be tolerated. Not only does it divert aid from those who really need help and assistance, it also undermines public confidence in our aid programmes which are held in high regard internationally.

Reviewing the way the funding for humanitarian relief and longer term development assistance is spent is a key part of our Committee’s remit. As part of our oversight role, we plan to meet the department’s officials to examine this matter when they return from Uganda.

We will continue to work with the Department and Irish Aid to ensure that our aid programmes are based on a performance-focused and results-based approach.”

For further information please contact:

Ciaran Brennan,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Communications Unit,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2

P: +3531 618 3903
M: 086-0496518
F: +3531 618 4551

Committee Membership

Pat Breen, TD (Chairman)
Eric Byrne, TD
Olivia Mitchell, TD
Bernard J Durkan, TD
Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, TD
Gerald Nash, TD
Dan Neville, TD
Maureen O’Sullivan, TD
Brendan Smith, TD

Senators

Deirdre Clune,
Mark Daly,
Lorraine Higgins,
Michael Mullins,
David Norris,
Jim Walsh.