The Executive Committee regrets to report that its routine reporting process on grants made to member organizations and others has led to concerns relating to funding given by IHEU to its member organization Humanist Association of Nepal (HUMAN).
In co-operation with two other grant-making organisations, the Institute of Humanist Studies, USA (IHS) and Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, Netherlands (HIVOS), IHEU undertook an investigation, including a visit to Nepal, to enquire into the use to which the funding had been put.
The investigation revealed that HUMAN had applied to both IHEU and IHS for grants to fund the same project, a Humanist radio programme, without telling the other organization that it had done so. Moreover, no funding was in fact required, since the radio station did not charge for the use of its facilities. The services of a journalist were included in the costs of the project, but the journalist confirmed that he had not charged for his services.
HUMAN has been unable to produce receipts for the expenses that it claimed were incurred for this project. The investigation concluded that grant funds had been used in a manner inconsistent with the applications for funding and with the subsequent reports sent by HUMAN to IHEU and IHS.
IHEU produced a detailed report of the investigation and it was sent to HUMAN. HUMAN’s response did not refute the report’s findings, instead relying on an ad hominem attack on the report’s author.
In the circumstances, IHEU and IHS have requested HUMAN to return the grant funds, but HUMAN has not done so.
A full report will be made to the IHEU General Assembly in 2009 and member organizations will be invited to consider what further action should be taken.