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Afghanistan: Overseas Aid

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that funding allocated by his Department in respect of Afghanistan is spent as intended; and what audit trail there is in respect of such funding. (313781)

Funding in Afghanistan is delegated to our ambassador, or in his/her absence, the Charge d'Affaires, who acts as the senior responsible officer and chair of the Afghanistan Delivery Group. The role of this decision-making body is to ensure that expenditure is authorised, controlled and monitored in accordance with agreed UK priorities and outcomes.

All UK civilian funding in Afghanistan is aligned to strategic objectives and subject to a robust planning regime. A programme office, based in Kabul, oversees governance processes that monitor expenditure and reports progress to the Afghanistan Delivery Group. Expenditure, both in Afghanistan and London, is also monitored by budget holders, subjected to independent external audit by the National Audit Office, and incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury Handbook on Regularity and Propriety.