International Investigative Team Report Clears Somalia of UN Report Allegations


Statement by

H.E. Fowziya Yusuf Haji Adam

Acting Prime Minister Statement, and

Deputy Prime Minister

Minter of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Thank you all for coming this morning.

We have called this press conference to address the recent United Nations Monitoring Group Report concerning the Government of Somalia. While the Monitoring Group Report sought to address various issues facing Somalia, particular attention has been paid to the allegations of systemic financial mismanagement appearing in Annex 5.2 of the Report.The allegations were so serious and far reaching that the President immediately set out to investigate them. At his direction, the Government of Somalia engaged an investigative team of highly qualified attorneys and forensic accountants with specific expertise in investigating allegations of fiscal corruption. It operated in accordance with international norms and professional forensic practices for discovery, investigation and interviews.

Unequivocally, this team concluded that the allegations in Annex 5.2 of the U.N. Monitoring Group Report were not only unsupported but factually incorrect. For instance:

o The entirety of the $16,924,466 deposited by PwC-Africa between May 2011 and April 2012 is accounted for, contrary to Annex 5.2.

o Withdrawals from the Central Bank were not made for private purposes; according to the investigative team’s analysis of withdrawals made during the current administration, the people who withdrew funds from the Bank were in fact ministry cashiers, and their withdrawals and disbursements were fully documented.

It is unfortunate that the Monitoring Group failed to adhere to well-established UN Fact-Finding Standards and to accepted norms for due diligence. At best, the report is sloppy and unprofessional. At worst, it shows evidence of a hidden agenda to tarnish Somalia’s government with sweeping, slanderous conclusions devoid of evidence.

Among other failings, there were surprising omissions and apparent biases in the Monitoring Group’s investigation. For instance:

o While supposedly conducting an investigation of the Central Bank, the Monitoring Group never attempted to contact relevant Bank officials or obtain records from the Bank or Finance Ministry; neither did the Monitoring Group attempt to interview Somalia’s Accountant General, who is responsible for managing the accounts of the state and its ministries.

o While issuing blanket condemnations of the Central Bank’s Governor, the Monitoring Group never contacted him; the Governor was only interviewed after he contacted the Monitoring Group and after their report had already been finalized, and even then, the Group asked no questions about allegations of corruption contained in their report.

o The Monitoring Group relied heavily on information from an outspoken critic of the federal government and on its own investigator, neither of whom have any apparent training or expertise in forensic financial investigations.

As you know, Somalia is just emerging from a generation of war, during which no credible central government existed. Since September 2012, we have made historic progress toward a democratic central government – one that is fighting corruption and embracing reform, transparency and accountability.

One of thePresident’s top priorities upon taking office was reforming the Public Financial Management institutions of the government, with the publicly stated goals of transparency, sovereignty, and coordinated support from all outside stakeholders. In the last year, we have taken concrete steps to implement these reforms, under the supervision of the World Bank.

Despite the UN Monitoring Group’s allegation that the Central Bank is a slush fund, the Central Bank has improved its cash controls, modernized its payment systems, and enhanced accountability. Specifically, the Central Bank has:

o Published its first annual, bi-annual and quarterly reports in 20 years;

o Installed a sophisticated biometric payroll system for the payment of employees;

o Drafted a five-year strategic plan for 2013-2018; and

o Implemented information technology upgrades, including reviving the Bank’s Swift capabilities.

Although we have made much progress, much remains to be done. We look forward to continuing to receive the support of the international community as our nation continues its efforts to overcome the effects of decades of war.

We have prepared a written formal response to the allegations of financial corruption, which you should have received by now, and I will now take any questions that you may have. In addition, Jeremy Schulman, the lead member of the investigative team, is here to address any questions as well.