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Departmental Programme Spending

Volume 548: debated on Tuesday 10 July 2012

In my statement to the House of 1 February 2011, I set out the funding allocations for the FCO’s strategic programmes for the financial year 2011-12. I also undertook to inform the House of our spending plans for future years, together with further information on how we will ensure programme money is spent effectively.

Since my last statement, the FCO has improved the way it manages its programme spending in a number of ways. We have given our heads of post greater responsibility for deciding how best to spend their local budgets. We have established a programme evaluation board to assess the impact of our work, and a cadre of internal reviewers to ensure the money is well spent. These changes have significantly improved our management of FCO funds, ensuring each and every project supports our foreign policy priorities. For the 2012-13 financial year, I have decided to allocate:

£57 million for programmes dedicated to national security, comprising—£36 million on counter-terrorism, £14 million on Afghanistan, £4 million on building stronger international institutions and £3 million on counter-proliferation;

£48.8 million for bilateral and regional programmes, comprising—£5 million for Arab partnership work, £1 million for public diplomacy, £19 million on scholarships and £23.8 million for bilateral programmes;

£21 million for prosperity programmes to support a stable, open global economic environment and a shift to sustainable growth;

£10 million for programmes on human rights and democracy, comprising—£6.5 million for FCO led human rights and democracy work and £3.5 million for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy; and

£7 million for programmes with the overseas territories.

These allocations are fully aligned with the FCO’s priorities. These are to safeguard Britain’s national security, to build British prosperity and to support British nationals around the world. They reflect the increasing importance of our bilateral relations alongside our leading role in international institutions, our commitment to the overseas territories, and our determination to promote human rights and democracy.