Sunday, 3 June 2012

14 staff leave WWF Tanzania after $400,000 fraud

WWF International Board report on incidences of fraud in Tanzania

May 2012. Following allegations of fraud in WWF-Tanzania that were raised in December 2011, the WWF International Board engaged accountancy firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) to conduct a forensic audit of four projects run by WWF-Tanzania.
Additionally, E&Y was requested to review progress made toward addressing control weaknesses that were raised in a prior external audit, and they investigated separate allegations of fraud committed by one of the finance staff. Finally, they conducted a separate review of WWF International's overall control framework and management oversight processes, from the Director General level through to the local country level.
Fraud found in 4 projects
The Audit Committee of the International Board recently received E&Y's confidential reports on these investigations and assessments. E&Y's investigations confirmed fraud in all four projects that were reviewed. The amount of fraud is approximately USD400,000; the total funding for the projects involved is around USD15.4 million. Such fraud is unacceptable and WWF have taken decisive action to terminate the employment of all employees found to have committed fraudulent acts. Eight employees employment has been terminated and six have resigned during the investigation or disciplinary process.
WWF are aware that they are not the first NGO operating in Tanzania to be hit with fraud, and they are also acutely aware of the negative impacts of this fraud on the organization and on their staff around the world who are acting with dedication and high integrity. WWF are devoting substantial resources toward finalizing the investigations in WWF-Tanzania and implementing stronger controls to minimize the risk of fraud going forward, so that they are able to return to delivering powerful and sustainable conservation outcomes in support of WWF's mission.
Fake hotel bills
Most, though not quite all,  of the fraud involved employees claiming expenses for hotels that they had not stayed in, by presenting fake hotel bills.  

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