18 February 2016, For Immediate Release
IOM, like Norway, has a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in all its programmes and is extremely grateful to Norway for setting an example in supporting the anti-corruption efforts of international organizations.
In direct response to the Deloitte report, the Organization has dispatched a team from its headquarters in Geneva to review the suggestions raised in the draft report. IOM only now has access to the final Deloitte report hence comments on any aspect will be possible only after comparison with our internal analysis. However, preliminary findings from our internal reviews are at odds with some of the findings in the draft report. IOM aims to complete the review later next week, and will then be presented to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing expressed his appreciation yesterday to Norway upon the release of a draft Deloitte report flagging serious allegations on the implementation of the Norway funded Information, Return and Reintegration of Afghan Nationals to Afghanistan (IRRANA) programme.
“Though operating in very challenging parts of the world, including countries like Afghanistan which are enduring insurrection, IOM has strict control and accountability mechanisms to prevent and address corruption, embezzlement, misuse of funds, fraud, and theft,” Mr Swing said.
IOM actively encourages the reporting of corrupt behaviour and is committed to a thorough review of any such allegation.
IOM applies the highest standards of internal controls and implements all of its programmes through internationally and locally recruited personnel who are subject to the organization’s extensive staff rules and regulations and code of conduct.
The IRRANA programme has been in operation for nine years. It has assisted 876 Afghan asylum seekers, Afghan irregular migrants and Afghan nationals with a refugee status and permanent residence permit, who wish to return from Norway to Afghanistan voluntarily.
The programme provides a return to Afghanistan which is well-organized, humane and dignified. The situation they are returning to is often a fragile environment without much of a perspective for regular work. The IRRANA programme is designed to strengthen those vulnerable returnees in building a future in Afghanistan. Monitoring and follow-up is an important component of the programme that is conducted by IOM Afghanistan to ensure sustainability of the programme. Returnees are monitored six to nine months after their arrival in Afghanistan.
IOM currently implements a range of humanitarian assistance, community stabilization and migration management initiatives in Afghanistan, in cooperation with government and humanitarian partners as well as local communities. More information on IOM Afghanistan is available at: https://afghanistan.iom.int/about-iom and https://afghanistan.iom.int/sites/default/files/iom_afghanistan_factsheet_dec15.pdf
IOM is committed to ensuring that Norway has full and justified confidence in its work.
For more information, please contact:
IOM Norway Chief of Mission Joost van der Aalst, Tel +47 987 65511, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Laurence Hart, Special Envoy and Chief of Mission, IOM Afghanistan, Tel: +937 9410 0525, Email: email@example.com