My noble Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Lord Ahmad), has made the following written ministerial statement:
I am announcing today the start of a tailored review of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB), sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
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.
Established in 1992, the focus of the WFD’s work has been on strengthening democracy in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Since its last review in 2014, WFD has expanded this focus to include open government partnership, civil society strengthening, electoral assistance, inclusive politics and women’s political empowerment.
The review will provide a robust scrutiny of and assurance on the continuing need for WFD—both its function and its form. If this process finds the Foundation should be retained in its current form and status, it will then consider how WFD can deliver on its core mandate more effectively and efficiently. It will also assess the control and governance arrangements that are in place to ensure that WFD and the FCO are complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance. The structure, efficiency and effectiveness of the WFD will be considered throughout the review.
In conducting this tailored review, officials will engage with stakeholders across the UK and overseas, including across the UK Government, devolved Administrations, civil society, as well as with Westminster of Foundation for Democracy’s staff and management.
The review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies’: https://www.gov.uk/govemment/publications/tailored-reviews-of-public-bodies-guidance. The terms of reference for the review can be found on www.gov.uk.
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.