Marion Deudon is MSF-USA’s Desk Finance and Administration Controller.
The best way to keep track of where our money goes is to set the budget for projects ahead of time and then reconcile expenses after the fact. We have a purchasing policy that we apply to all of our purchases made in the field, and one for what is done at the headquarters level. These are standard, so the field policy is the same in all the countries in which we work. There is a validation process for any purchase being made. Somebody is always checking expenses.
It’s also important to note that supplies could also potentially be diverted. Having a box walk out of a warehouse is just as damaging as having cash walk out of a safe. So there are checks and balances in place to ensure security.
The validation process involves a lot of paperwork, and all of this goes through several hierarchical levels of reporting. There is always someone managing logistics and financial administration at the field level. The program coordinator is also involved in the validation of purchase decisions and expenses. At the next level, in each country we have financial coordinators and logistics and medical coordinators who supervise the people in the field and report back to people in headquarters. In these ways we can keep both funding and supplies secure.