Global Fund High-Level Review Panel on Fiduciary Controls Released

September 26, 2011

Appointed by the Board of the Global Fund, the High-Level Independent Review Panel on Fiduciary Controls and Oversight Mechanism were charged with evaluating the Global Fund’s current practices in financial oversight and implementation. Published yesterday, the findings in the final report are drawn from an extensive review of published/unpublished documents, hundreds of interviews, and over a dozen field trips over a period of six months.


As the report notes, the Global Fund has been a leader in advancing the way in which development assistance is delivered to countries, and health services delivered to those who need them. The authors note that its failure
would represent a ‘global health catastrophe’. The report highlights several challenges inherent to the current Global Fund Model, as well as areas that need significant improvement across the entire structure of the Global Fund.

The authors suggest these issues can be addressed through significant reform, and provide six key recommendations:

1. Turn the Page from Emergency to Sustainable Response

1.1 No Amnesty for Fraud, but Focus Oversight on More-Recent Rounds of Grants

1.2 Strengthen the Relationship between the Secretariat and the Inspector General

2. Declare Doctrine of Risk and Manage to it

2.1 Adopt a New Risk-Management Framework

2.2 Redefine “Country Ownership”

2.3 Apply the Risk-Management Framework to the Existing Portfolio

3. Strengthen internal governance

3.1 Focus the Global Fund’s Board on Management, Strategy and Risk-Management

3.2 Re-purpose the Committees

3.2.1 Investment Committee

3.2.2 Audit Committee

3.2.3 Finance Committee

3.3 Create an Executive Staff to Support the Global Fund’s Board

4. Streamline Grant-Approval Process

4.1 Institute a Two-Stage Grant Process

4.2 Apply Risk-Differentiated Grant Processes and Requirements

5. Empower Middle-Management’s Decision-Making

5.1 Establish a Chief Risk Officer

5.2 Align the Staffing Pattern to Bolster Grant-Management

5.3 Empower the Fund Portfolio Managers

5.4 Streamline and Expand the Country Teams

5.5 Reinforce the Executive Management Team

5.6 Leverage the Investment in the Local Fund Agents

5.7 Define and Clarify the Role and Responsibilities of External Auditors

6. Get Serious About Results

6.1 Measure Outcomes, Not Inputs

6.2 Focus on Quality and Value, Rather than Quantity

6.3 Consolidate the Reform Agenda

Carlos Bruen
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)


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