Aid projects shut down after reports of fraud
May 30, 2012. Three Danish aid projects in Vietnam have been shut down following reports of widespread fraud. The development minister, Christian Friis Bach (Radikale), cut off funding to all three projects after an independent review by Price Waterhouse Coopers uncovered “numerous irregularities.”
“It is important to crack down on those caught misusing Danish aid funds in order to clearly demonstrate the consequences,” Friis wrote on the ministry’s website. “Those that cheat must be stopped and punished.”
Denmark stops ODA grant for three projects
The first rumor about misuse at the four projects appeared in early this year. In April, the Danish Embassy in Hanoi received a detailed report on wrongful spending of these projects, from the Danish Auditing Office. Based on this report, the embassy hired the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to audit these projects, which received Denmark’s ODA from October 2011.
The total funding for these projects is 19.9 million kroner, equivalent to $3.45 million. So far, $2.45 million has been disbursed to the Vietnamese partners and according to the investigation, they misused $550,000 or 23 percent of the capital.
The Embassy, however, said it has yet to able to comment further on the case with reference to the on-going verification, adding “the observations need careful evaluation by the two governments and the implementing institutions before final conclusions can be made.
Denmark suspended, but has not cut ODA grant yet, MPI Minister
“The Danish government has just suspended ODA grants during the investigative time, not officially cuts assistance,” Vinh said.
“The Vietnamese government’s point of view is very clear: the government will seriously look into these issues and audit these projects to have correct appraisals,” he added.
If Vietnamese partners make violations, the Vietnamese government will punish violators strictly to retrieve donors’ trust. “Vietnam respects each coin of capital provided by donors, especially in the current difficult situation,” Vinh said.