Examination of Witnesses (Questions 60
TUESDAY 18 JUNE 2002
CB AND MR
60. We have had a fairly wide-ranging discussion
this morning. Permanent Secretary, is there anything that we have
not covered that in that briefing which says "If pressed"
you feel you ought to be sharing with us or if anything does strike
you that we should have covered perhaps you would like to send
a note; I think you are sending us various notes.
(Mr Chakrabarti) Yes, we will send you the various
notes. I think the one thing thatin my discussion with
you recentlyI would like the Committee to look at, push
on, think about is the G8 and NEPAD process on Africa. We did
not have the chance to talk about that today. The summit is only
a week away now. Beyond that, I think implementation, where is
it going, is it going to make a real difference? I think we are
quite excited by the NEPAD process.
61. Following the breakfast at Number 10, what
we saidand we had a discussion about this earlieris
that everyone here is on side, everyone in the UK is pretty much
on the side; we have to get the others on the side. I think that
our impressions in Washington were that there was not very much
thought going into the G8 conference and certainly this was not
something which struck any chords. So I have written to the Prime
Minister, following that breakfast, sent a copy to the Secretary
of State, saying that we are very happy to do our bit, I, by writing
to parliamentarians in other G8 countries or actually picking
up the telephone and talking to people. I will have a word with
the Secretary of State after the 7o'clock vote tomorrow night
to say that I think it is for her special advisor to think through
how best we can help on that. Otherwise we just have a dialogue
with ourselves here and the NGOs here and we all sign up, we all
agree, the Prime Minister goes off with great expectations, but
I do not think anyone ought to under-estimate the challenge there
is in Canada of getting delivery on this. If we can help in any
way and I think if colleagues suddenly start getting telephone
calls it does make them sit up a bit and think. I appreciate that
time is of the essence but that maybe the greatest contribution
we can make on that.
(Mr Chakrabarti) Thank you, that is fair enough.
62. One other point is this. I think I am right
in saying that DFID now has more fast-stream applicants than practically
any other department in Whitehall. If at any time my colleagues
or others who are going through the Department want to come to
see what it is like at the Westminster endyou give them
courses about how not to answer parliamentary questions we understandit
might be helpful for them to see how we try and draft questions
or whatever. I think we would all be happy individually to spare
a couple of days to have someone come and spend time with us in
our offices so they can see how this bit functions.
(Mr Chakrabarti) That would be really helpful indeed.
Thank you very much for that offer. We will follow it up. Just
a point of clarification on that, we have always been the most
popular department that actually runs fast-streamers; we just
have not been able to take as many until very recently. That is
63. We will have to hope that if the Chancellor
is as generous as he keeps on saying he is going to be to DFID
you will be able to take a lot more.
(Mr Chakrabarti) Yes.
Chairman: Thank you very much.