Outstanding issues for next year
In addition to following up a new set of ICAI reviews next year, the Commission will come back to the following reviews from the 2021-22 report as there are issues that remain outstanding:
- UK aid’s alignment with the Paris Agreement – Positively, the government has committed to a 2023 deadline for ensuring that all new bilateral programmes are compliant with the Paris climate agreement. However, action was inadequate on reporting publicly on progress towards aligning all official development assistance (ODA) with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (recommendation 2), building capacity and capabilities for achieving Paris alignment across government (recommendation 3) and deepening collaborative partnerships on Paris alignment with major developing countries (recommendation 4). ICAI will therefore return to these three recommendations next year.
- Tackling fraud in UK aid through multilateral organisations – The government has made progress in developing the building blocks for a portfolio approach to managing the fraud risks related to multilateral aid. However, action was inadequate in updating fraud risk assessment of UK aid spent through the European Commission (recommendation 3). ICAI will therefore return to this recommendation next year.
- Management of the 0.7% ODA spending target, Part 1 and Part 2 – The government has made progress on recommendations related to taking a flexible approach to applying the aid-spending target (Part 1, recommendation 4) and using a more diverse range of data sources for growth projections (Part 2, recommendation 1). However, some challenges remain, especially on applying a floor to FCDO spending (Part 1, recommendation 2). Next year’s follow-up to the ICAI review on UK aid to refugees in the UK will pursue further engagement with FCDO on the recommendation for an FCDO spending floor, given that this review highlighted the same issue, as well as on continuing flexibility.
- Tackling fraud in UK aid – We will return to examine whether there has been adequate action to strengthen the approach taken to whistleblowing (recommendation 2), to pursue independent scrutiny of procurement (recommendation 3) and to take a proactive approach to fraud investigation (recommendation 4).
- The UK’s approach to tackling modern slavery through the aid programme – We will return to examine whether the government has made progress on making a strategic statement on its priorities and approach to using aid to tackle modern slavery internationally.