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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Impact of merging of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development

International Relations and Defence Committee
Impact of merging of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Start times: 3.00pm (private) 3.00pm (public)


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Committee to question FCDO Permanent Under-Secretary on impact of Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development merger

In this evidence session the Committee will hear from Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in an evidence session examining the impact of the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with the Department for International Development (DfID).

The Committee will probe the significant challenges for UK development policy created by the merger and its strategic and practical implications; it will also reflect on the actual experience of the merger so far, including staffing issues and the recent organisational restructuring of the Department.

Meeting details

At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Work Impact of merging of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development (Non-inquiry session)
Permanent Undersecretary at FCDO
Director General Corporate, Finance and Transformation at FCDO

Possible Questions:

  • The recent Foreign Affairs Committee report on the withdrawal from Afghanistan has put you in the spotlight, calling for you to consider your position. What are your reflections about the process of withdrawal from Afghanistan? How would you assess the role and performance of the FCDO in managing this crisis? What would you have done differently?
  • What is your overall impression of the success of the FCO-DfID merger to date? What challenges have been overcome and which are ongoing?
  • The FCDO has recently undergone a significant reorganisation of its senior management, which saw the creation of the position of Second Permanent Under-Secretary. What have been the practical implications of this change? To what extent was the creation of this post a response to challenges created by the merger?
  • Has there been a “brain drain” of expertise since the merger? How many people in the FCDO currently work on development and how does this compare to other thematic priorities of the FCDO?
  • The recently published strategy for international development puts significant emphasis on trade and economic development. Is the FCDO able to meet the same aims as DfID while having a much broader remit than just development, alongside a reduced ODA budget and smaller staff responsible for development?

 

 

Location

Room 3, Palace of Westminster

How to attend