A recent report published by international development media platform Devex and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism highlighted critical shortcomings in the largest project ever funded by the US Agency for International Development.
The $9.5 billion initiative aimed to revolutionize the procurement and delivery of life-saving medicines and health supplies to millions in economically challenged nations. However, the report detailed significant problems encountered while executing the project. Insiders revealed fabricated metrics, inflated supplier invoices, and up to two-year delays in delivering key supplies. US government officials had expressed early concerns about project management, and former staff claimed the project struggled to track its supply chain.
The project unfolded to problems throughout the world: expensive logistics software remained unusable in Nepal; funds were diverted from their intended purpose of buying medical supplies in Kenya; and potential fraud by a logistics company was identified in Nigeria. Despite ongoing investigations, the project's timeline and budget have been extended as a new approach is being formulated.
For businesses involved in projects with international supply chains, this investigation underscores the importance of robust due diligence and ongoing monitoring. Collaborating with partners and contractors thoroughly assessed for integrity, efficiency, and compliance is crucial to safeguarding project success and the reputations of all organizations involved. In large-scale, long-term projects, this diligence should extend beyond a one-time effort, with key partners and contractors routinely reviewed for any signs of fraudulent behavior.
Read the full investigative report here.