In addition to following up a new set of ICAI reviews next year, we will come back to the following reviews as outstanding issues:
- The UK’s approach to tackling modern slavery through the aid programme: The follow-up found that initial positive steps have been taken. However, staff and budget constraints in 2021, as well as uncertainty about future budget allocations and strategic direction, mean that these have as yet only had a limited impact on programme delivery.
- Management of the 0.7% ODA spending target, Part 1 and Part 2: We recognise the effort from the government to engage constructively with ICAI’s recommendations. These issues remain relevant to the revised spending target of 0.5% of GNI. However, we have seen few changes to the way in which the government manages the spending target in response to the main thrust of our recommendations and the value for money risks identified in the ICAI reviews.
- Tackling fraud in UK aid: The government’s response to ICAI’s recommendations has led to important changes, including the establishment of a cross-government ODA Counter Fraud Forum. However, severe resource shortages following the FCO-DFID merger in both the fraud investigations team and the Control and Assurance (counter-fraud) team have hampered the implementation of plans.
- UK aid’s approach to youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa: The government response to the review was limited and tangible actions were largely modest in nature.