The risks of misuse of development cooperation funds are monitored closely
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 all 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. All suspected cases of misuse are investigated carefully and systematically in accordance with the Ministry’s internal guidelines. 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 reviews all cases of alleged misconduct, and funds that have been misused are recovered. In 2020, the value of the clawback decisions totalled EUR 151,550. Suspicions are reported to the National Audit Office of Finland and, where necessary, also to the police.
The Ministry receives 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 these 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 clawback procedure.
Do you suspect misuse of funds?
If you suspect misconduct or that development cooperation funds are being misappropriated, you can use the Ministry’s public e-service to report it. Misuse can involve, among other things, bribery, embezzlement, or other inappropriate use of funds.