I am announcing today the start of a tailored review of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission (MACC). Established by an Act of Parliament in 1953, in commemoration of the assistance received by the United Kingdom from the United States under the Marshall Plan, the MACC administers the British Marshall scholarships.
As a non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the MACC is required to undergo a tailored review at least once in every Parliament. The principal aims of tailored reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and properly accountable for what they do.
The review will provide a robust scrutiny of, and assurance on, the continuing need for the MACC—both its function and its form. It will then assess the governance and control arrangements in place to ensure they are compliant with the recognised principles of good corporate governance and delivering good value for money. The review will look both at the current performance of the MACC and at how it is able to respond and adapt to those factors which are most likely to affect its position as a prestigious scholarship provider and effective public diplomacy tool for the UK.
A challenge group, comprising senior FCO and Cabinet Office officials, will have regular oversight of the interim findings, to ensure the review is robust and rigorous.
The review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: “Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies”, which can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-reviews-of-public-bodies-guidance. The terms of reference for the review can be found at: www.gov.uk.
In conducting this tailored review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders in the UK and US, including across UK Government, devolved Administrations, partner academic institutions, current scholars, alumni, the MACC’s volunteer commissioners and recruitment panels, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which provides administration for the programme.
I shall inform the House 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.