Government stops GOAL funding after fraud accusations

Allegations of fraud at Goal have led to millions of euro in funding being withheld by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Government, which supports the aid agency, is waiting for the outcome of an American investigation before handing over any more money.

Goal is accused of being involved in a bribery scandal involving humanitarian contracts in Syria.

It says that the US investigation does not relate to its Irish branch.

The investigation has led to GOAL and a number of other agencies operating in Syria being forced to stop their operations after the US government’s foreign aid arm, USAid, found a number of documents showing alleged bribery and bid-rigging.

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

The Department of Foreign Affairs response is withhold €2.95 million in humanitarian funding earmarked for GOAL, until the US government suspends it’s investigation.

Goal CEO Barry Andrews says they cannot guarantee everything is above board, despite their best efforts.

He said:

“It’s impossible to absolutely 100% exclude the possibility in the future that there may be fraud. We work in a very complex environment.

“However, we have a whistleblowing mechanism, we have very serious anti-fraud measures.

“Every incident that is reported to the Goal head office is dealt with and reported to the auditors committee.”