Thursday 22 March 2018

Government withholds funding to GOAL pending US investigation

Barry Andrews
Barry Andrews Newsdesk Newsdesk

Millions of euro in aid has been withheld from aid agency Goal pending a US government investigation into alleged fraud.

In April the charity and others were ordered to halt procurement using some US funds as the US Agency for International Development (USAid) began an investigation into alleged bribery and bid rigging.

The enforced suspension affects about €6.2m of the €113m GOAL receives from USAid.

This morning the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed, in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Irish Times, that they had withheld €2.95m in humanitarian funding earmarked for the charity.

Goal CEO Barry Andrews was informed of the decision in June "until we have clarification on the ongoing US investigation" - the newspaper reports.

Two charity workers, based in Turkey,  have already been sacked on foot of information emerging from the USAid investigation.

The €2.95m was intended for Goal programmes in a number of countries.

The records also show that the chair of Goal, Anne O’Leary, apologised to the department on behalf of the board of the charity for failing to inform officials about the suspension of US funding before it appeared in the media.

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