Tánaiste and Minister of State welcome refund of €4m misappropriated in Uganda
DUBLIN, Ireland, January 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., and the Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today welcomed the refund to Ireland by the Government of Uganda of the €4 million of Irish Aid funds misappropriated by officials within the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda.
The Tánaiste stated:
I greatly welcome the restitution by the Ugandan Government of the €4 million in aid funding which had been misappropriated by officials within the Office of the Prime Minister. This restitution follows intensive high level discussions with the Government of Uganda over the last two months.
I am satisfied that this and other steps taken by the Government of Uganda send a clear signal of their commitment to bring those involved to account and to improve their financial control systems. I believe that these measures will contribute to the Government's efforts to tackle corruption.
I am also satisfied that this decision to refund the €4 million to Ireland shows the determination of the Government of Uganda to maintain the long standing relationship with Ireland. Ireland has built this partnership with the authorities and people of Uganda over the last 20 years, during which Uganda has witnessed remarkable progress in poverty reduction. Ireland has played a positive role in this progress.
I have now instructed my officials to examine options for a possible programme of support for the people of Uganda during 2013. This will take into account the ongoing assessment of all management systems across our partner programmes, to ensure that risks are being appropriately identified and managed.
Looking to the future, we stand ready to continue to work with the Auditor General of Uganda in his efforts to root out corruption, strengthen financial controls, and build robust and transparent systems of accountability.
Pending the successful completion of this work we will examine appropriate management arrangements, with direct oversight by Ireland, which ensure that our development assistance continues to make a difference on the ground and builds local capacity, but also provides assurance in respect to accountability.