Misuse is addressed
Development cooperation is conducted in difficult conditions – in countries where the administration does not function properly, people live in extreme poverty and corruption is a problem. The risks involved in the work are assessed and monitored closely, but sometimes they materialise despite the precautions.
All those engaged in development cooperation activities are obligated to report to the Foreign Ministry any misuse or suspicion of misuse of funds that they have detected. In June 2014, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs introduced an online system which anyone can use to report suspicions of misuse of development cooperation funds. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will investigate all suspicions and misused funds will be recovered. The suspicions are reported to the National Audit Office of Finland and, if necessary, also to the police.
The Ministry receives about 20-25 reports of suspected misuse of development cooperation funds every year. In most cases, the funds have not been misused on purpose but mistakes are found in bookkeeping and reporting. In the majority of the cases, the target of suspicion is able to provide sufficient additional information, the suspicion proves to be otherwise unfounded, or the funds are returned to the Foreign Ministry without a recovery procedure. In 2019, the value of the claims for recovery totalled EUR 70,687.
Development cooperation fights corruption
Development cooperation supports the prevention of corruption. Good governance can be promoted by strengthening the supervisory role of national parliaments and the public authorities and by improving access to public information and citizens' opportunities to request information about the resources of development programmes and their results.
In the autumn of 2012, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs published an Anti-corruption Handbook for Development Practitioners, which provides tools for successful development cooperation even in challenging environments.
Do you suspect a misuse of funds?
If you suspect that development cooperation funds are being misappropriated, you can use our public e-service to report it. Misuse can involve, among other things, bribery, embezzlement, or other inappropriate use of funds.