Local Fund Agent (LFA)
With a budget of $65 million annually, the Local Fund Agents represent a significant and critical element in the Global Fund’s architecture and reflects about 20 percent of its total operating budget. Despite this, there has been little reflection or review of this piece of the model. One of the last reviews of the LFA system was commissioned by the Fund in 2006, and published online in 2007.
There are several good practices in the implementation of Global Fund grants in Gambia, but there are also weaknesses in financial management, procurement and supplies management, and oversight, according to a diagnostic review carried out by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
Having both the principal recipients (PRs) and local fund agents (LFAs) report directly to the Global Fund Secretariat and, in the process, bypassing country coordinating mechanisms (CCMs) has usurped the CCM's oversight role.
Procedures are tightened
LFA required to do regular spot checks of SRs
Local Fund Agents (LFAs) perform work of very variable quality, yet the Fund provides little guidance regarding what it expects of them, according to a report released last month by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Global Fund grants where the Principal Recipient (PR) is not a government entity are somewhat more likely to perform well, according to a recent statistical analysis published in The Lancet.
Key decisions made by the Global Fund Board at the meeting that ended on Friday were as follows.
The 400 participants at the Global Fund's Partnership Forum in July 2006 in Durban, South Africa, made recommendations of two main kinds: strategic, and operational. The strategic recommendations were reported in GFO Issue 61. (See www.aidspan.org/gfo.) Now, in this issue, we summarize the operational recommendations.
The Global Fund is about to commission a major study of the effectiveness of Local Fund Agents (LFAs), prior to issuing new LFA contracts next year.