Government are scrambling to hit targets as overseas spending soars | Politics | News

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The Government have failed to establish a clear way of checking overseas spending, says Audit Office

The Government had also failed to establish a clear way to check the overall effectiveness of aid spending, warned the National Audit Office.

Three of its four goals for aid could not be measured against firm targets, which “limits the Government’s ability not only to assess progress but also to consider the coherence of its overseas development assistance expenditure”, it added.

Total UK Official Development Assistance has risen from £11.4billion in 2013 to £12.1billion in 2015 and an estimated £13.3billion in 2016.

The increases follow the Conservatives’ decision to meet the United Nations target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income in each calendar year on aid – an obligation now enshrined in UK law and met in each year since 2013.

In 2015 the Government ruled that more of the aid budget should be spent by departments other than International Development.

The proportion accounted for by DfID has fallen from 88 per cent in 2013 and is forecast to reach 70 per cent by 2020.

The NAO said the Treasury had failed when allocating cash fully to assess each department’s capacity to manage the extra money.

By setting an initial target, since relaxed, for departments to spend 90 per cent of their 2016-17 aid budgets in the 2016 calendar year, the Treasury also created “a risk that expenditure might be rushed, potentially undermining value for money”.

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The increases follow the Conservatives’ decision to spend 0.7 per cent of national income each year


The Government has decided that departments and cross-government funds other than DfID should have responsibility for expenditure which makes up the 0.7 per cent aid target.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO


Five of 11 bodies examined by the NAO spent more than half their 2016 overseas aid budgets in the last three months of…

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