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Dynamics - September 2011 - Use oversight and accountability to protect public funds - EY - Global

Growing international development brick by brick

Use oversight and accountability to protect public funds

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While financial monitoring reports identified the loss of funds, it was community involvement and oversight that brought about real change.

An educated and well-informed civil society, together with strengthened financial management and increased transparency, offers the best route to tackling the global problem of fraud and corruption in government, says EY's Maryam Kennedy.

Follow the money to find corruption

In many emerging economies, the largest spender in the country is in fact the government.

Because the government is spending so much money, evaluating the government's taxes is one way of tracking how the money is spent and if there are indications of tax evasion facilitated through corruption.

Often, the automated monitoring reports uncover a combination of issues, which include lack of capacity and inefficiencies as well as fraud and corruption.

Ensuring funding reaches its target

In 1995, revenue tracking surveys in Uganda showed that less than 30% of allocated funding for capital expenditure was reaching secondary schools.

The government acted to improve flow of information and make budget transfers transparent by publishing the amounts transferred to the districts and requiring schools to maintain public notice boards to post monthly transfer of funds.

The impact was dramatic.

By 1999, capital funding received by the schools had almost reached 100%. So, while financial monitoring reports identified the loss of funds, it was community involvement and oversight that brought about real change.

This shows the potential impact of a combination of central oversight and systems of mutual accountability within the community in safeguarding of public funds.



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