An interview on Egypt's slush funds

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | 9 July 2015
Nizar Manek and Jeremy Hodge discuss their investigation into the scope and set up of Egypt’s special funds.
Journalists Nizar Manek and Jeremy Hodge conducted an extensive investigation in 2014 of Egypt’s government agencies and Central Bank that revealed $9.4 billion in unaccountable state-operated “special funds,” or al-sanadeeq al-khasa. These special funds first became widely discussed in the aftermath of the January 2011 revolution, but their size and administration had remained unclear.
Revelations about the size of these slush funds are particularly timely following Egypt’s highly-touted economic development conference in March 2015 and the government’s appeal for more foreign investment. Incorporating these funds into the state treasury could reduce Egypt’s $32.38 billion budget deficit and provide greater fiscal security. However, the ambiguity surrounding the scope and purpose of these funds shows how entrenched official corruption and opaque state accounting is in Egypt.
Rachael Hanna interviewed the journalists about their investigation into the scope and setup of Egypt’s special funds.
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Uncovering Egypt's slush funds

Business Today Egypt | August 2015 edition -- pp. 34-39
Business Today Egypt interviewed Jeremy Hodge and Nizar Manek, co-authors of ‘Opening the black box of Egypt’s slush funds,’ a much-discussed Angaza File investigation for Africa Confidential, a specialist newsletter on Africa published since 1960.
Manek and Hodge spent around a year investigating Egypt’s extra-budgetary ‘special funds,’ finding that at least USD 9.4 billion of state revenues were plundered and used to make unaccountable payments to Egypt’s bureaucrats in the fiscal year that ended when Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi became president and can be used to fuel regime patronage networks. Their inquiries shed light on the systematic abuse of special funds, the individual actors implicated in various misappropriations along the way, and how foreign companies, investors’ funds, and financial aid flowing into Egypt from international donors entangled in the web of special funds.
Manek and Hodge's report considers the debit and credit activity -- inflows and outflows -- of Egypt’s special funds. The journalists said in an interview with Business Today Egypt that alarming discrepancies exist between the figures put forth in the financial records they were able to review and public statements made by Egypt’s Ministry of Finance, Central Bank, Central Auditing Organization (CAO), previous parliaments, and other senior government officials over the total size of Egypt’s ‘special funds.’ The pair, who were forced to flee Egypt shortly after they began their investigations, told us they corroborated the figures in the official records they reviewed and cross-checked facts by talking with people close to the relevant ministries, regulators and people in the bureaucracy with insider knowledge.
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Off the books – Egypt’s hidden $9.4bn

Daily News Egypt | 24 June 2015
Daily News Egypt speaks with the journalists behind an investigation that claims to have documented officials siphoning vast sums of public money to top-up salaries and maintain networks of political allegiances
In May, journalists Nizar Manek and Jeremy Hodge published in the Africa Confidential newsletter an Angaza File investigation entitled ‘Opening the black box of Egypt’s slush funds’. Through their report, which took a year to research, they allege that Egypt’s government operates a hidden $9.4bn of public money spread around 7,000 ‘special funds’ of ministries, local governments, and agencies.
The cash goes unchecked by central government and whilst some services are being paid from them, many public officials are putting the funds to huge personal profit.
Daily News Egypt spoke with Manek and Hodge to understand the implications of what they found.
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Have Egypt’s generals been using secret funds of public money as their own?

BBC World Service: Business Matters | 27 May 2015
Have Egypt's generals been using secret funds of public money as their own?
We speak to Nizar Manek and Jeremy Hodge, who carried out a year-long investigation and found $9.4bn of public money had been concealed from normal budgetary accounting, and plundered by generals and other senior officials for their own purposes. Presenter Roger Hearing is joined throughout the programme by two guests on opposite sides of the Pacific - Tara Roth, the president of the Goldhirsh Foundation in Los Angeles, and Rosie Blau, China correspondent for The Economist, from Beijing.