Muqdisho, Sept 24, 2023 – The Auditor General (AG), H.E Ahmed Isse Gutale, made contact with Finn Church Aid (FCA) and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request information regarding financial aid provided by the Government of Finland to the Federal Government of Somalia through the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Peace Mediation Centre in 2021. This fund was facilitated through the FCA country office in Mogadishu.
A report published on the Finnish government Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on 20 April 2023 shed light on the situation, revealing that EUR 50,000.00 may have been misappropriated and not utilized for their intended purpose. The report cited a lack of verifications for how the funds were utilized and indicated the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ intention to recover the full amount from FCA.
In response to the Auditor General’s inquiry, both FCA and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the aforementioned sum has been refunded, effectively closing the case. This swift resolution underscores the commitment of all parties involved to transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.
The Office of the Auditor General of Somalia (OAGS) emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability in ensuring that external aid is utilized ethically and responsibly. As the executive of the OAGS, AG Ahmed Isse Gutale has conveyed a strong commitment to addressing the improper use of public funds and has pledged to adopt a more proactive approach in overseeing financial aid to Somalia, ensuring that disbursements are administered according to agreed-upon terms and conditions.
This resolution marks a significant step toward maintaining the integrity of foreign aid and ensuring that it reaches its intended beneficiaries, demonstrating the commitment of the Somali government to responsible financial stewardship.