I am announcing today the start of a tailored review of the Great Britain China Centre (GBCC). The GBCC is a non-departmental public body of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Its principal activity is to encourage mutual knowledge and understanding through the promotion of closer cultural, professional, economic, educational, legal, judicial and other contacts between Britain and China.
As a non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the FCO, the GBCC is required to undergo a tailored review at least once in every Parliament. The principle aims of tailored reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and are properly accountable for what they do.
The review will provide a robust scrutiny of and assurance on the continuing need for the GBCC—both its function and its form. If the review finds the GBCC should be retained in its current form and status, the review will then consider GBCC’s capacity for delivering on its core mandate more effectively and efficiently. It will also assess the control and governance arrangements that are in place to ensure that GBCC and the FCO are complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.
The review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: “Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies”. The terms of reference for the review can be found at: www.gov.uk.
In conducting the tailored review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders across the UK and overseas, including staff, management and the board of the GBCC. These consultations will include participating and sponsor organisations of GBCC projects and events and partners from across UK Government, foreign Governments, academics and civil society.
Both Houses will be informed of the outcome of the review when it is completed and copies of the report of the review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.