Result of external review

Earlier this year, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a notificationthrough the ministry’s anti-corruption hotline pointing to possible inconsistencies in the way IMS does procurement and handles contracts. Following the notification, the ministry initiated an external audit to review the case. IMS has cooperated closely with the external review team to shed light on the complaint, which consisted of four specific cases, predominantly dating back in time.

The report has now been finalised and has found no indication of fraud but recommends that the internal processes to uphold IMS’ policies and ensure documentation thereof should be strengthened.

“It is always our aim to be fully accountable to our donors and those we work with. The whistleblower pointed to processes, especially back in time, where IMS’ Conflict of Interest Policy allowed for the exceptional contracting of board members and members of the then-advisory board. This is not allowed today. Moreover, our procurement policies have also been updated and approved by IMS donors. We do follow sound practices both in our work with service providers and partners, but we have not always adequately documented this,” says Executive Director Jesper Højberg.

The report investigates a situation where IMS, in sudden need for a specific skill set, hired a family member of the management as a service provider. No decision in that process was taken by the related party. As is stated in the audit report, the amount was below procurement thresholds, the daily rate of the service provider was considered low, the service provider had the right qualifications and internal control was in place. However, the audit report points to a principal conflict of interest, which IMS takes note of. Another case refers to historic examples where a board member with very specific skills within the media development sphere was hired as an adviser and an advisory board member was contracted as a consultant; in both instances with transparency vis-á-vis the board. In 2014, the Conflict of Interest Policy was changed and since then no board members have been contracted by IMS.

In the two other cases, the report did not find information to substantiate the posed accusations.

IMS has practices and policies in place, both when granting contracts to service providers and when making decisions to engage with partners, which has been positively evaluated in several reviews. However, the external audit points to weaknesses in the documentation; this could, e.g., be the written formulation of arguments behind a decision.

“We acknowledge and will learn from the report and will work with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to follow up on the recommendations,” says Executive Director Jesper Højberg.

IMS is following a set of accountability policies, which can be found here. Further information can be requested via