UK-funded Projects

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 8th July 2015.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough 11:30 am, 8th July 2015

What steps she is taking to ensure value for money in spending on UK-funded projects abroad.

Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Secretary of State for International Development

Driving the best value for money is a top priority for the Government. Robust processes are in place for the 86% of aid spent by my Department. Business cases are required for all projects, and their performance is also appraised and monitored.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

I am sure the Secretary of State will want to give an explanation for how she will ensure value for money in her Department. May I give her one project for which I could ensure value for money, where it takes four to five weeks to see a doctor, the roads are filled with potholes and the police are in crisis? I refer, of course, to that tribe inhabiting the frozen plains of the north, the Lincolnshire yellowbellies.

Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Secretary of State for International Development

As ever, my hon. Friend makes his point very eloquently. I can assure him that my Department is probably the most scrutinised of any in government. We have the Select Committee on International

Development, the aid watchdog and the Public Accounts Committee. I can assure him we are rising to that challenge.

Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

One of the best criteria for value for money projects is to stop the flow—[Interruption.]

Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

Thank you, Mr Speaker. One of the best criteria for value for money for our projects is to stem the humanitarian crisis occurring in the Mediterranean. Last week, I visited a camp outside Rome station where I met a number of migrants. If they had been provided with jobs and economic development in north Africa, they would not have travelled. Will she please make that one of the criteria?

Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Secretary of State for International Development

The right hon. Gentleman will be pleased to hear that just a few days ago I announced additional support that includes in Africa creating additional jobs and livelihoods. As he sets out, many of these migrants are in search of better economic opportunities. If they cannot find them where they are growing up they will look for them elsewhere. We should be very aware of that and work to tackle it.