IHS Response to Global Fund OIG Investigation Report

On April 1st 2021, the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published an investigation report alleging misconduct committed under the Indus Hospital’s Global Fund supported TB grant, wherein IHS was contracted for IT services. IHS has fully cooperated with the Global Fund OIG’s investigation, and provided factual evidence to refute unfounded allegations. Unfortunately some of this evidence has been inexplicably ignored in the final report that was released. Given that this matter is now public record, we are issuing this statement to clarify the following points:

Regarding the role of IHS on this project: IHS is a commercial technology company that has provided information systems support to public health programs and projects in more than 15 countries. Our systems support data collection, management, and analysis on infectious disease, immunization, maternal and child health, mental health, and global surgery. These systems have been used to support screening, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive care for tens of millions of people worldwide.

We submitted a proposal in response to a tender notice for IT services floated by Indus Hospital (TIH) in national newspapers in 2016. After negotiation, IHS was awarded a fixed price commercial contract for this work and delivered to the Global Fund supported TIH TB program a powerful, open source, integrated electronic medical record system for TB patient data. To date, using the information systems provided by IHS, more than 2.6 million people have been screened, 9.9 million encounters have been logged across 290 locations by more than 900 unique users, and 80 million data points have been captured. The system is open source (code is available on the Internet) and is free for anyone to use, re-use, or modify without any license fees, royalty, or permissions. The systems we set up allowed the TB Program to make data driven decisions about their program while also allowing longitudinal follow-up of individual patients. This level of case-based data is rarely seen in large scale TB implementations anywhere in the world, let alone in an LMIC setting like Pakistan.

Rather than a “level of service that was not delivered” as alleged by the OIG report, we far exceeded the initial requirements of the project and detailed evidence of this has been shared with OIG, but inexplicably ignored.

Regarding allegations/inferences of collusion: IHS categorically denies any involvement in the procurement process for this work other than that we placed a bid in response to a tender notice and were awarded a contract after negotiation.

Further, in line with Global Fund requirements for suppliers, potential conflicts of interest involving IHS Directors were declared to the Global Fund in writing and acknowledged by the Global Fund country team before the contract between IHS and TIH was signed. The contract was approved by the Global Fund’s Secretariat and the Indus Hospital’s procurement committee, both of whom were fully aware of the potential conflicts of interest involved. The report published by OIG acknowledges these statements to be true.

Given the above, IHS strongly rejects any inferences that may be made from the findings of this report to conclude that IHS engaged in collusion, anti-competitive behaviour, or other wrong-doing.