Our governance system has continued to grow from strength to strength throughout the year premised on critical fundamental values of governance. Key to this has been regular and systematic holding of key strategic meetings, ensuring that Board Members attend and partake in the governance proceedings. Setting an environment which allows for innovation, accountability and reporting on risks and threats likely to affect the organisation has been one other strategy employed through activation of the whistle-blowing platform which is linked directly to an external person, the Board Chairman. Other developments linked to governance have been a consolidation of recruitment/engagement of technically competent and Board Members to run and supervise the strategic organisation Board Management sub-committees of finance, human resource and programs.
This year witnessed the full activation of the internal audit system. The Internal auditor has been contracted to provide the Board and Management independent oversight into FACT finances and systems on a quarterly Consequently, the 2017 audit, just like the other 30 audits. that came before it, came out unmodified. This development has significantly improved FACT stewardship resources. We now pride ourselves on a 3-decade-old unmodified audit trail. Over and above ensuring that funds from donors are safe, we as the Board have continued to work tirelessly as shepherdess of donor funds, remaining fully anchored to serve and ensure that resources allocated and accessed by us are directed for the purpose of serving and supporting the needs of the community and the nation at large. We remain vigilant being aware that FACT has become a huge repository of donor funds.
Finance, Programs and Human Resource
We are aware of the growing risks associated with more staff, more projects and more resources. FACT has gone ahead to cement the function of the human resource, Finance and program subcommittees to supervise and overlook the key deliverables and inputs of FACT, that is, staff, donor funds and programs. As a result of this, FACT has excelled in the areas of finance management and programming. Issues of risks related to human resources have been attended to. Policies have improved to respond to staff work and staff welfare.
Risk management practices.
The year witnessed intensified and systematic risk management practices. largely driven by internal auditing and employment of grant and compliance staff within the organisation. This has resulted in improved control systems commensurate with a growing organisation and a huge ballooning resource base ranging from finances, physical assets and human resources. Diversification of the resource base was another focus for the period under review. However, our success was limited due to a number of external challenges and shortfalls.
The sustainability focus remains anchored on physical asset building coupled with increased donor and stakeholder engagement and risk mitigation. We hope this will go a long way in retaining current funders while at the same time attracting new funders who have an affinity for risk-averse investment. A risk management policy and tools have been put in place as a way of minimising the risks We look forward to yet another year of innovation, consolidation and stewardship of FACT assets.
All in all, we remain grateful to our funders who have made it possible to expand to new areas of TB and diseases, and reach out to more than 140 000 OVC, advocate for the rights of Key Populations (KPs) and other vulnerable groups. We also have managed to train, and capacity-build local organizations in various areas of financial management, OVC programming, advocacy, data visualization, livelihoods, health and HIV. Nationally, more than 50 000 people were screened for TB in 2017 and ten Community Based Organizations (CBOs) plus three national organizations, were supported through direct sub-granting and capacity building. This has gone a long way in contributing to improving the health and social outcomes of Zimbabwe.