Future of the International Development Committee confirmed
9 December 2020
The leader of the House of Commons has confirmed that the International Development Committee will continue scrutinising the work of Government.
In a letter sent to Chair of the Committee, Sarah Champion, Jacob Rees-Mogg stated that the Government does not intend to bring forward a motion to alter the current committee structure. This means that both the International Development Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee, will be retained in their current form.
The future of the International Development Committee appeared uncertain following the merging of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID).
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will now decide the final allocation of UK aid spending across Whitehall. With the FCO absorbing DFID’s budget, 93.5% of the UK’s aid budget will be spent via the FCDO.
In order to appropriately scrutinise the work of the FCDO, and other development spending departments, the Chairs of the International Development Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee have agreed to maintain a complementary focus on the portfolios of their former departments while recognising that over-arching and cross-cutting issues would also arise. Therefore, the IDC will continue scrutinising UK aid expenditure, including the portion implemented by departments other than the FCDO.
Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, said:
“It is a huge relief that IDC has been retained. I would like to thank the cross-party support from MPs and Peers and also the great campaigning from NGOs and activists.
“The International Development Committee has a unique role in scrutinising the Government on its Foreign Aid programme. This role is vital for aid beneficiaries around the world and also the UK public as both want the money well spent.
“Now more than ever parliamentary scrutiny is needed. As the UK looks to reposition itself globally, at the same time as Government announcing a decreasing pot of development money, we need to make sure the right support is going to the right people and that there is accountability for those decisions.
“UK aid is a lifeline for so many people around the world, it also increases our soft power and is the right and moral thing to do. We will continue banging the drum for all of the extraordinary benefits of aid and challenge when we see things going wrong.”