Thank you for contacting me regarding the merger of the FCO and DFID.
As you will know, this merger is set to be completed by September and the new department will be led by the Foreign Secretary. I welcome the Prime Minister’s reassurance that this is not about rolling back commitments on international development, but allegedly about pursuing them with greater effect, and that reducing poverty will remain central to the UK’s international work.
I agree that close scrutiny of the UK Aid budget is vital, and the reassurance that the UK remains committed to spending 0.7 per cent of GNI on international development is welcome, as we are the only G7 country to have enshrined this in legislation.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be accountable to parliament for how it spends UK aid. I have been assured that the Government remains committed to full transparency in our aid spending and there will continue to be parliamentary and independent scrutiny of the aid budget.
I understand that the form this scrutiny takes following the merger will be set out in due course. As a member of both the International Development Select Committee and the Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, I will certinaly be keeping a very close eye on these developments to ensure that the ODA budget is spend appropriately and that our strong record of positive investment in international development objectives continues.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me on this very important matter.