Fraud and Corruption

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th May 2016.

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Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Conservative, Enfield, Southgate 12:00 am, 4th May 2016

What steps her Department is taking to tackle fraud and corruption in developing countries.

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

Corruption is bad for development, it is bad for poor people and it is bad for business. All our country programmes have anti-corruption strategies. DFID funds units in the National Crime Agency that are dedicated to investigating the money laundering and bribery that affects developing countries.

Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Conservative, Enfield, Southgate

Corruption is also bad for taxpayers who have a natural concern if they see too much of their money going into the hands of corrupt Governments and other organisations, particularly in Africa. What are peer-to-peer lending and giving doing to tackle this issue?

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

As my hon. Friend says, platforms are now emerging that allow charitable donations to be sent directly from an individual in the UK to, for example, a remote village in Uganda or an entrepreneur in Kenya seeking to raise money from the UK public directly. Strong regulation is key. DFID is now actively working with the industry to see how this approach can be made better.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

Does the Secretary of State agree that one of the best ways we can help developing countries to tackle fraud is to make sure there is no fraud and corruption in the UK? Will she look at whether the murderers of Mr Magnitsky have hidden away something like $20 million or $30 million in the UK? Is that something she would like to investigate?

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

I am sure I will look further at the case the right hon. Gentleman mentions, but DFID funds and helped to establish the international corruption unit that is now part of the National Crime Agency. It is there specifically to ensure we are able to investigate cases of corruption and fraud that affect the UK system, as well as developing countries.

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

I assure my hon. Friend that we will continue to be a leader in global aid transparency. Taxpayers can already see on the web the Department’s projects in every country. Indeed, last month the Department was again rated as “very good” in Publish What You Fund’s aid transparency index.

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

I do. In fact, DFID has a series of controls to manage the inherent risks not just in Somalia but in many of the other countries where we work. We make extensive use of third-party monitoring so we can verify independently that every pound is spent effectively.