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Commonwealth Scholarship Commission

Volume 553: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2012

My Department will shortly commence the triennial review of its oversight arrangements for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC).

The Government made a commitment regularly to review public bodies, with the aim of increasing accountability for actions carried out on behalf of the state.

The CSC, which administers the Government’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, has been selected by DFID as one of the non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) for which the review will commence during the second year of the triennial programme (2012-13).

The review will be conducted in line with relevant Cabinet Office guidance, in two stages.

The first stage will:

Identify and examine the key functions of the CSC and assess how these functions contribute to the core business of DFID;

Assess the requirement for these to continue.

If they are to continue, there will be an assessment of how the key functions might best be delivered. If one of these options is continuing delivery through the CSC, there will be an assessment against the Government’s “three tests”: technical function; political impartiality; and the need for independence from Ministers.

If the outcome of stage one is that delivery should continue through the CSC, the second stage of the review will ensure that it is operating in line with the recognised principles of good corporate governance, using the Cabinet Office “comply or explain” standard approach.

The outcome will be announced in Parliament within six months of the review commencing.