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Holding the Government to account on aid spend: Committee to question independent watchdog

17 April 2023

The Government’s independent aid watchdog, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), is to be questioned by the International Development Committee about the challenges of holding the Government to account on aid spending.

Purpose of the Session

MPs will hear from the watchdog’s Chief Commissioner, Dr Tamsyn Barton, who referred to the “considerable challenges” of the operating environment in ICAI’s most recent Annual Report (2021-22), some of which have been caused by the merger of DFID and FCO.

The Committee will explore the Commission’s budget and staffing, independence and future. The Commission’s leaders are appointed on four year cycles and a new phase is due to begin in September 2023, with a new Chief Commissioner due to be appointed before then.

MPs will also consider the Government’s response to ICAI’s reports. In 2023, the watchdog has published reviews of UK aid to refugees in the UK, UK aid to India and the UK’s approach to democracy and human rights.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) was launched in 2011 by the then Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell MP, to scrutinise taxpayer funded UK aid spending. As a non-departmental public body, ICAI carries out its work at arm’s length from ministers in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, although ministers are ultimately accountable to Parliament through the International Development Committee for its activities.


Tuesday 18 April 2023, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

  • Dr Tamsyn Barton, Chief Commissioner, Independent Commission for Aid Impact

Further information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright