Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (134, 135, 136)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

134. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if Irish Aid is suspended or restricted to certain countries in relation to concerns regarding the use of Irish Aid money; if so, the countries in question; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8216/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niall Collins

Ceist:

135. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the countries that have had Irish Aid suspended or restricted over concerns of its use of Irish Aid money in each of the years 2012 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8217/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niall Collins

Ceist:

136. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the safeguards that have been put in place to ensure Irish Aid money is spent correctly and in accordance with set procedures and standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8218/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 134 to 136, inclusive, together.

The Irish Aid programme, managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has a strong focus on value for money, transparency, accountability and sustainable results. A key function of Embassies in countries where Ireland has a development co-operation programme is to actively monitor risk and ensure that the evolution of a country programme responds dynamically to risk environments. Accountants, internal auditors and technical specialists at mission level work in policy teams, and frequently in coordination with partner donors and international financial institutions, to drive this dynamic risk management, underpinned by headquarters oversight including by the Department's independent Audit and Evaluation Unit.

As part of Irish Aid's risk management approach, Ireland's overseas development assistance is channelled through a variety of financing modalities and partners, including official, civil society and multilateral or UN partnerships. This ensures that if problems occur, a given funding modality may be suspended to allow actions to be taken to ensure that issues arising are fully and satisfactorily addressed. It is not the case that assistance to countries is suspended or restricted, rather the mix of modalities is adjusted in light of risk analysis in any given moment.

In a number of countries where Ireland works, support is also given to relevant government institutions, such as the auditor general’s offices, anti-corruption bureaux and civil society monitoring and advocacy groups, to help ensure that public monies, both Ireland's and partner governments’, are used to good effect and in accordance with both the spirit and letter of our partnership agreements.