1 Introduction |
I can also confirm that this coalition Government
will be the first British government in history, and the first
major country in the world, to honour the United Nations commitment
on international aid. The Department for International Development's
budget will rise to £11.5 billion over the next four years.
Overseas development will reach 0.7% of national income in 2013
(The Chancellor of the Exchequer, October 2010).
1. In the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR)
the Chancellor of the Exchequer made the key announcement that
the UK would meet its international commitment to provide 0.7%
of Gross National Income (GNI) as Official Development Assistance
(ODA) by 2013.
This commitment enjoys the support of the three main political
parties. In 2004, before the 2005 Gleneagles Summit, the last
Government announced its intention to meet the target by 2013
and in 2010 published a draft Bill.
The Coalition Government has now promised to legislate.
2. The increase in spending on ODA can, according
to the Secretary of State, only be justified if it is possible
"to ensure that future allocations represent maximum value
for money." As
part of this process, the CSR announced reductions in the Department
for International Development's (DFID's) running costs from 4%
to 2% of the total budget. The Secretary of State has also instituted
a number of reviews of UK aid programmes, is setting up a 'watchdog',
the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), to undertake
evaluations of DFID's programmes and has established an Aid Transparency
Guarantee. In view of these important developments we decided
that our regular annual scrutiny of DFID's Annual Report should
focus on the increase in expenditure, the attempts to ensure value
for money, the proposals for reducing the share of the budget
allocated to running costs and the possible risks of doing this
while increasing the overall budget.
3. We received written submissions from 16 external
organisations and individuals and took oral evidence from the
Permanent Secretary and other DFID officials on 16 November 2010.
The National Audit Office (NAO) produced a briefing for us on
The work of DFID in 2009-10 and its priorities for reform
which we have drawn on.
We are grateful to all those who contributed to our inquiry and
in particular to the Department for responding to our supplementary
4. The next chapter looks at areas of increased expenditure
and new priorities. Chapter Three considers DFID's proposals for
improving value for money, which seek to ensure that DFID is "achieving
value for every pound of taxpayers' money that we spend on development."
Chapter Four examines changes in running and administration costs
and assesses the potential risks of these changes. The final chapter
sets out our conclusions.
1 Spending Review Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Rt Hon George Osborne MP, 20 October 2010 Back
In 1970 the UN General Assembly endorsed a target that rich countries
would provide 0.7% of GNI on ODA. To date only five donors have
achieved this: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and
Draft International Development (ODA Target) Bill, 15 January
DFID, Business Plan 2011-2015, November 2010. Back
Ev 20 Back
This year, the Government has issued two separate publications.
DFID's Annual Report for 2009-10 which was published in July 2010.
It is shorter and presented differently from previous annual reports,
basing its structure around a country-by-country survey of progress
against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) rather than thematic
chapters as before. The Resource Accounts are published as a separate
volume. In addition, a Structural Reform Plan was published in
July which was updated after the Comprehensive Spending Review
(CSR) in the Department's Business Plan in November 2010 for the
period 2011-2015 (DFID, Business Plan 2011-2015). Back
NAO, The work of the Department for International Development
in 2009-10 and its priorities for reform, Briefing for the
House of Commons International Development Committee, November
DFID, DFID Vision Plan - Vision, 10 November 2010, www.dfid.gov.uk Back