EAST AFRICA & YEMEN REGIONAL OFFICE (Kenya)
Dual Employment- Case 00007392
On 30 June 2022 a whistle-blower report was received detailing an allegation of dual employment by a staff member. Investigations established the engagement in dual employment by the staff which is against the NRC code of conduct. The staff members contract with NRC was terminated.
Collusion with supplier 00006782
NRC received a complaint regarding a possible collaboration between its employees and a supplier for a shelter project that involved giving Project Participants cash to purchase building materials. The complainant alleged that NRC staff had distributed the cash along with the business card of a specific supplier, directing the Project Participants to use the cash there. An investigation was conducted, and it confirmed the staff collusion. There was no financial loss for NRC. The staff member was dismissed after a disciplinary process, the contract with the supplier was terminated.
Procurement Fraud 00006825
NRC received an anonymous report through the whistleblowing mechanism regarding hiring a consultant without following the procurement process fairly. Upon investigation, several inconsistencies in the procurement process were found, indicating a lack of fairness and quality, resulting in a financial loss of USD 4,002. The consultant left NRC during the investigation, as did the responsible NRC staff member who authorized the recruitment.
NRC was informed of an incident where a Fleet Officer was accused of stealing 499 liters of diesel. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the officer had tricked a security guard into recording a partial amount of fuel, promising to complete the rest the following day. However, the Fleet Officer failed to deliver the remaining fuel, resulting in a loss of USD 600. A final written warning to the staff member was issued by the disciplinary panel.
NRC received a complaint regarding two community-based workers suspected of stealing refreshment items. The investigation found that the Community-Based Workers were initially responsible for the theft of the items. However, the items were then stolen from them by Local Authority Security staff at a checkpoint. NRC suffered a loss of USD 3,161.61. The Community-Based Workers were dismissed.
THEFT & FRAUD (Forgery) – 00007214
It was reported by two NRC staff members that a staff member presented a receipt to justify an expense advance collected for the hiring of a bus. Later, the bus was cancelled, yet the staff attempted to keep the cash and to justify the advance taken. The allegation was founded. The cash advance was recovered therefore there was no financial loss. Disciplinary actions were taken, and the staff was sanctioned.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (CAR)
THEFT (of cash) – 00007629
A staff member sitting in for their supervisor who was on leave, declared that the keys to the safe in their keeping were missing. The safe had to be forced open, whereupon it was discovered that there was no money in the safe. Initial loss of 8,000 USD, however the funds are being recovered. There were disciplinary measures taken against the staff member in question.
Corruption and conflict of interest- 0000778
A staff member reported that some team members were including Project Participants in a cash project who did not meet the eligibility criteria and were related to them. After the internal investigation, NRC confirmed that some staff members manipulated the eligibility survey and failed to declare a conflict of interest, causing a loss of USD 13,593. A disciplinary process was carried out against the staff involved. In total five staff members were dismissed
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
BRIBERY - 00007024
It was reported by a whistleblower that some employees and a supplier were allegedly involved in a bribery scheme whereby the supplier paid $8,000 to a staff member in order to influence a procurement process. The investigation findings confirmed that the supplier paid $8,500 to two staff members as a bribe in order to win a procurement contract. There was no loss to NRC. The supplier was removed from the procurement process and the 2 staff members were dismissed.
BRIBERY – 00007401
A report was received from a whistleblower that a staff member requested a bribe of 3,000 USD from a supplier before he could be attributed a contract for the supply of construction materials. During the investigation, the supplier confirmed that he paid a bribe of 3,000 USD to a staff member for the contract to be awarded to him though he stated that he paid under duress. There was no loss to NRC.
EXTORTION (of project participants during registration) – 00007503
NRC Management received an allegation of bribery by the NRC Registration Assistant during project participants' registration. However, upon investigation, it was found that the person in question was actually a community appointed ‘guide’ - who was meant to help facilitate the registration process. The guide admitted to accepting money from one of the community members. While the amount in question varies, on the balance of probabilities, it is believed that he collected a total of 80 USD from victims and has promised to make refunds. There was no loss to NRC.
FRAUD (Selection of ineligible beneficiaries) – 00007567
Country management received a report during a distribution that some project participants who had collected cash did return to collect construction materials. The concerns were investigated by physical verification of suspected project participants. It was noted that some project participants who had collected cash and/or some construction materials were not found in the localities in which they were registered. NRC noted a loss of 20,764 USD for materials and cash distributed to ineligible project participants.
FRAUD (beneficiary substitution) – 00007685
Some project participants made a complaint to NRC field staff about their undue replacement from a project being run by an implementing partner, stating that they were replaced with unknown people, depriving them of benefiting from the training assistance and cash offered to them. Investigations revealed that the head of the training institution fraudulently substituted the project participants with the names of other people to divert the cash assistance available to the trainees. A loss of 210 USD was recorded.
Extortion - 00007269
A participant in a cash project reported that a contracted security guard was asking for money in exchange for help to receive assistance. The NRC’s internal investigation established that the participant benefited from cash assistance without paying anything in exchange, and there was no evidence of wrongdoing from the security company’s employee.
Conflict of Interest and Fraud - 00007477
A staff member reported that one person in their team included their mother-in-law as a participant in a cash project without declaring the conflict of interest. The investigation discovered that the staff member had included their mother-in-law without declaring the conflict of interest and also had provided false information in the application. A disciplinary process was carried out, and this caused a loss of USD 180. The staff member resigned prior to the disciplinary hearing.
Corruption in cash delivery - 00008061
Two participants in a cash assistance program reported that NRC staff made them sign invoices for money they did not receive. The Investigation determined that the participants did not understand the protocol; however, both had in fact received cash assistance following the proper processes, and there was no wrongdoing from the staff.
Theft of materials – 00006839
Report of loss/theft of tarpaulins/plastic sheets in Gambella Area office. Investigations established there was collusion between staff, security guards and drivers for the goods to be removed from the NRC warehouse. The amount of USD 26k was paid back to the donor and all staff involved were dismissed.
Theft of ICT equipment – 00007415
A report regarding loss/theft of laptops and a camera in the Addis Ababa office was received. The investigation found there may have been collusion between a staff member and security guards leading to the theft of the ICT equipment. The total estimated loss value is USD 9,946. This case was also reported to the local police and investigations undertaken by the police. NRC Ethiopia implemented a new office entry and exit procedure and conducted refresher awareness sessions on how to care for ICT equipment, security protocols and on the NRC code of conduct.
Fraud / Ghost Suppliers - 00006821
Standard verification procedures red flagged a suspected fraud in two procurement processes that may have included ghost suppliers. An investigation took place along with a market assessment for the purchased items to verify the suppliers that delivered quotations for the two procurements, along with the prices of those purchased items. The Assessment showed that the prices quoted had been inflated. Also, it showed that all the suppliers that delivered quotations for the two procurement processes did not exist. The estimated inflation for the two procurement processes was 41,952.8 USD. The two procurements were cancelled and all items were returned to the winning (real) supplier, and the staff member who was involved in the process was terminated. Due to all the items being returned before payment, there was no loss to NRC or the donor.
Cash Count Difference - 00007079
Standard verification procedures red flagged missing cash from the cash box of 61.55 USD. The investigation took place to check the cash count during the last 4 months. The findings showed that there was a current cash count gap at that time equal to 51.98 USD. The missing cash count was settled by the responsible staff, and the two staff responsible for the safe received warning letters.
Procurement Fraud - 00007328
Standard verification procedures red flagged a suspected fraud in a procurement process. The Investigation Team conducted a market assessment to verify the prices of the purchased items along with the selected supplier for this procurement. The investigation findings showed the supplier had substituted goods for inferior products and that NRC procurement procedures had been circumvented by the procurement panel. As a result of the investigation, NRC strengthened its local procurement procedures.
Bribery - 00007426
An anonymous complaint was received regarding an NRC staff member taking bribes to register project participants on the distribution list. The alleged amount of bribery was 100.7 USD from each person. The Investigation Team conducted a random evaluation by calling 25 beneficiaries had received assistance from NRC under that project. All beneficiaries who were contacted denied giving any NRC staff member money, nor did anyone ask them for anything. The allegation was not substantiated.
Procurement Fraud - 00007938
An NRC Area Manager reported multiple (ghost suppliers, price inflation and lack of segregation of duties) suspected fraud related to multiple procurements that had all been initiated by the same staff member. The Investigation team conducted a market assessment to verify the market prices against the purchased items, and to verify the existence of the suppliers for those procurements. The allegation was not substantiated as the prices were within the market range, and the vendors were actual suppliers with the same address mentioned in their quotations.
Fraud - 00007606
An allegation was received from WFP HQ that an NRC staff member had attempted to bribe a WFP Official to influence a procurement process. The allegation was proven, and it was recommended that the staff member be subject to a disciplinary hearing. There was no financial loss. A written warning was issued to the staff.
Dual Employment- 00007147
NRC was informed by another organisation that one of their staff members was also employed by NRC. An investigation established that staff member was still under NRC employment when he took up paid internship with the other organisation which is breach of the NRC Code of Conduct. The staff member attended a disciplinary hearing.
Fuel Theft - 00007133
A whistle-blower reported alleged fuel theft by siphoning fuel intended for generator use in Kakuma Area office. Interviews were conducted and the investigations showed insufficient supporting evidence to substantiate the allegation.
Theft X4 - 00007815, 00007816, 00007817 & 00007827
Four incident reports were shared by the Health, Safety & Security Manager, the reported missing assets were as follows: 9 tablets, 3 smartphones, and two basic phones. The investigation confirmed the loss but could not identify the offenders. The financial impact was 2,735$.
FRAUD (SUPPLIER EXTORTION) – 00007130
A whistle blower made a report stating that the vehicles owned by staff were rented to NRC through suppliers. The whistle blower added that logistics staff extorted money from vehicle rental suppliers between $8 USD to $16 per day per vehicle NRC hired from them. Upon investigations, both allegations were unfounded.
FRAUD (Ghost Project Participants) – 00007373
The Finance team detected during the payment process of suppliers for the distribution of education materials that the supporting documents (some beneficiary lists) had similar signatures for different project participants who benefited 100 USD each. The allegation was unfounded upon investigations.
EXTORTION (of project participants after distribution) – 00007483
It was reported through the Complaints Feedback Mechanism that some project participants were extorted 30,48 EUR each by some community leaders after a Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) distribution to displaced persons. The allegation was founded, and a total of 456 EUR was confirmed to be extorted from 15 beneficiaries. NRC staff were not involved in the extortion.
EXTORTION (of project Participants after distribution)
Two complaints were received through the Complaints Feedback Mechanism (CFM) from project participants stating that cash was extorted from them by the Community Focal Point after an (RRM) distribution to displaced persons. Upon investigations, it was highly likely that the extortion of project participants happened, though it was not possible to conclusively prove or disprove the allegation. The contract of the Community Focal Point was not renewed upon expiration.
Bribery/Kickback (Recruitment Fraud) - 00007519
A report was received that NRC staff based in Mueda & Pemba were requesting money in exchange for helping candidates to obtain positions in NRC. The investigation team did not find any evidence to support the allegation.
Procurement fraud 00008148
An anonymous Whistleblower reported that there had been forged quotations and inflated prices related to the procurement of laptops. An investigation was conducted, and the information was found to be true. The staff members responsible were identified but due to a crisis emerging in the country have not yet been the subject of disciplinary actions. The inflated prices resulted in NRC losing a total of USD 1,940.
A complaint was filed against a support staff member alleging that they appropriated USD 846 in cash for personal use. Upon investigation, it was found that the staff member had received credit from a supplier for lack of services. However, the staff member did not return the cash to finance. Staff member was dismissed and misappropriated amount reimbursed to NRC
FRAUD (undue payment to Enumerators) – 00007647
The Head of Support detected two suspicious transactions with similar amounts and work dates for two payments to enumerators that were brought for his approval. The two requisitions related to different projects and 586 EUR was the requested amount for each payment. The allegation was substantiated, and one staff terminated.
THEFT (MATERIAL MISAPPROPRIATION) – 00007574
A whistle blower reported that after the electrical system of a field office was upgraded twice with new batteries & Solar panels, the Field Coordinator misappropriated the replaced inverters, charge controllers and batteries. The allegation was not founded upon investigations.
Fraud – 00007590
An allegation was received that NRC staff had been claiming allowances that should have been paid to programme activity participants. There was sufficient evidence to substantiate the fraud allegation of falsifying documents to receive cash meant for programme activity participants. Disciplinary procedures were initiated against the NRC Staff.
Extortion - 00007132
An allegation was received that that one of the committee members (local community leader) involved in the enlisting of people we serve was extorting USD15 of their cash entitlement. The investigation Team contacted a high number of aid recipients who denied having paid any money. The allegation was not substantiated.
Bribery – 00006823
A report was received from a donor regarding that a particular refugee was soliciting money from registered Yemeni refugees, and in exchange promising refugees to be included in the Livelihoods project led by NRC. Following the investigation, there was no evidence to substantiate the allegation.
Aid Diversion - 00007294
NRC Sudan received an anonymous complaint regarding diversion of Non-Food Items (NFIs) kits by volunteers who are supporting NRC staff during distribution. The investigation was unable to prove the alleged diversion of NFIs and recommended the development of specific standard operating procedures for the distribution processes making clear the roles and responsibilities of Shelter staff, logistics staff and ensuring volunteers and refugee incentive workers have appropriate oversight and limited involvement to mitigate aid diversion risks.
SYRIA COUNTRY OFFICE
Price inflation, Product substitution, Ghost beneficiaries, and Bribery - 00006981
A complaint was submitted to the Complaints and Feedback Mechanism alleging that a staff member engaged in several instances of colluding with a supplier to substitute goods and products with inferior items, then sharing the additional profits between them. It was further alleged that the same staff member was adding ghost beneficiaries, paying beneficiaries to refrain from workshops in order to keep their kits, inflating prices significantly (e.g., charging $800 for an item worth $270), and bribing people for their silence. Upon investigation, it was determined that many items were procured and distributed, but they served no purpose for the intended beneficiaries. Additionally, several items were procured but not distributed at all. The investigation also uncovered evidence indicating potential price inflation and substitution of products. The misconducts were confirmed, but it was not possible to calculate the loss. A warning letter was issued and the staff’s contract was not renewed.
Favoritism – 00007705
A complaint was received through the Complaints and Feedback Mechanism claiming that in one of the training sessions that is being implemented by NRC, there are three ineligible participants. The investigation team did not find any evidence to support the allegation; all official procedures were followed, and the documentation is complete.
SYRIA RESPONSE OFFICE
Theft - 00006833
A guard reported that the fence of NRC’s learning center was broken into at night. It was found that materials and pieces of furniture were missing, such as chairs, tables, and whiteboards. Other INGOs also reported similar thefts at the same time. The value of materials lost was 1,157.00 USD. No offenders were identified and the evidence points towards people external to NRC.
Payment irregularities by partner organization - 00007020
Multiple allegations were received through different channels and departments regarding irregularities with payments submitted by NRC’s field implementation partner. After a thorough investigation, it was found that the partner had routinely submitted documentation for payments to ghost suppliers, faked purchase orders, and price quotations, inflated invoices and only partially paying suppliers and staff. The partnership was terminated, and the loss was determined as 12,826.00 EUR.
Theft - 00007201
A complaint was sent to the Complaints and Feedback Mechanism about stationery, kits, and bags missing from NRC’s warehouse, and that these items were supposed to be provided to facilitators. It was confirmed that no items were missing, and no stationery was planned to be allocated to the facilitators in the first place.
Theft - 00007572
An allegation was received through the Complaints and Feedback Mechanism alleging that a facilitator stole some refreshments that were supposed to be offered to attendees of a training session. It was confirmed that the facilitator took home the refreshments that were left after the training session. The facilitator received management counselling. The loss was estimated to be 21.60 USD.
Forgery - 00007639
A report was filed detailing allegations against NRC staff regarding presenting fake accommodation receipts while on official NRC duties. The findings of the investigation substantiated the forgery allegation. The loss was USD 830 and the staff were dismissed.
Fraud (Aid Diversion) – 00007933
A complaint was received against NRC Staff attempting to defraud Project Participants by sending their cash assistance to unregistered mobile phone numbers. The investigation found that while the money had been sent to NRC mobile phones, the money had been passed onto the Project Participants. In this case, the reason for this was due to Project Participants not owning their own mobile phones. NRC recognises the risks that this poses and has adapted the local SOP’s appropriately.
Extortion – 00007654
A complaint received through the one of the donor's feedback mechanisms of a community leader working with an NRC staff to extort Project Participants of USD 5.2 in order to be verified during the door-to-door verification process for a cash assistance programme. The findings showed that NRC staff, facilitated by community leaders, had breached the NRC’s Code of Conduct and were subsequently dismissed.
Attempted Fraud – 000007581
A written complaint letter was received alleging that NRC had failed to deliver tailoring and electrical engineering materials for a training centre for NRC supported Learners. The findings established that some of the electrical materials delivered by the supplier did not meet the required specifications as per the Purchase Order and some tailoring materials were not delivered. The evidence against the supplier and colluding NRC staff showed an attempt to defraud NRC and the investigations recommended a disciplinary process against the NRC staff involved and termination of vendor contract, although this is still in process and at the time of publication has not been completed.
Extortion - 00006815
A compliant was received that one NRC staff allegedly tried to extort money from another staff member under his supervision. The investigation found the allegation to be true. The staff was dismissed from NRC.
Procurement Fraud - 00006866
A staff member reported that a colleague forged signatures in a delivery sheet and colluded with suppliers. After the investigation, NRC found enough evidence that this case was a malicious allegation. A disciplinary process was carried out against the reporter and he was dismissed.
Procurement fraud – 00006871
NRC management at the country office received an internal report that sensitive information had been shared with suppliers in a procurement process. The procurement was stopped and an investigation commenced. Although it was established that the leak occurred, it was not possible to identify who leaked the information. However, moving the procedure to the country office prevented manipulation of the process and ensured proper control which prevented any financial loss.
Procurement Fraud 00007213
Routine compliance checks identified red flags in a number of procurements. Specifically, collusion between logistics staff and suppliers affecting 27 contracts. The investigation team discovered evidence that a staff member colluded with ten companies to allow them to win contracts with NRC and deliver poor-quality goods. The financial loss of this case was USD 84,675. The staff member resigned before the investigation concluded.
Collusion and Favouritism 00007697
A whistle-blower reported a case of collusion and favouritism in an area with several companies. The investigation established that there was a lack of following NRC´s procurement procedures additionally, it was discovered that a forged document was used to favour a supplier. The disciplinary process regarding this case is still ongoing.
Extortion – 00007275
The NRC accountability team received several complaints from Project Participants in a cash project. The complaints highlighted that participants were asked to pay cash by sub- contractors or community representatives in order to receive their cash entitlements. The allegations were proven to be true. The investigation recommended that the sub-contractor be excluded/ barred by NRC as a vendor/ service provider. This action was completed.
Fraud - 00007659 (through use of Duplicate ID)
NRC received an allegation that an NRC casual worker had procured duplicate ID’s resulting in the one casual worker working on behalf of another. The investigation concluded that the NRC staff member who was managing the casual workers was aware and aided the practice to use duplicate identification document. The investigation recommended that a disciplinary procedure be initiated against the NRC Staff. Which resulted in a formal written warning.