12.1 Publication of an Annual Report on implementation of EC aid was one of the principal recommendations of the May 1999 Development Council. This first report covers activities during 2000. It is the first time that information on all the EC programmes has been put together in a single document.
12.2 When we considered the report in December 2001, we expressed our support for the Secretary of State for International Development (Clare Short) who, whilst welcoming it as an important step forward, criticised it for falling short of the needs spelt out by the Development Council.
12.3 We referred the document to the International Development Committee for its Opinion, in the context of its inquiry into The effectiveness of the reforms of European Development Assistance. The Chairman of that Committee writes to tell us that the Committee has now published its Report and gives its Opinion on the document at paragraph 60, in which it says:
"The first Annual Report on the Implementation of the European Commission's external assistance was published in January 2002. As a baseline report, it refers to the situation at 1 January 2001, the date of establishment of EuropeAid. We join with others, including Ministers attending the European Development Council on 8 November 2001, in welcoming the recognition that it is important to make such a report, but in being extremely disappointed with the structure and content of the report itself. The Annual Report makes no attempt to measure impact, fails to say how the Commission intends to measure impact in future, and neglects to discuss priorities or compare the different regional or sectoral programmes. The Annual Report is a step in the right direction, but a disappointingly small step, which must be improved upon next year".