Priti Patel Speech at Conservative Party Conference
Today at Conservative Party Conference, Priti Patel set out her vision for projecting British values and leadership around the world. Speaking with pride about Britain's unique history and role as a force for good, she outlined many of the areas which British leadership and UK aid is working to save lives and promote development. This included a strong role for trade and investment as a direct route out of poverty and a desire to encourage the private sector to work with DFID.
The Secretary of State also outlined her programme of reform to deliver greater value for the UK taxpayer. Specifically she announced an increase in the use of Payment by Results, performance-based funding of multilateral organisations and particular measures aimed at DFID's suppliers. Responding to her speech, CDR Executive Director Jessica Toale said:
"We welcome the Secretary of State's commitment to improving standards and value for money in the UK aid sector. CDR members seek to be leaders in the sector - driving impact, value for money and accountability in their work. We look forward to working with DFID to be part of implementing the outcomes of the Supplier Review, and ensuring that they support DFID's objectives and improve development outcomes. Ultimately, whether we are promoting trade and economic development, fighting disease or responding to humanitarian crises, we all want to see a UK aid sector that delivers maximum impact for beneficiaries and value for the British taxpayer."
On the Supplier Review in particular, the Secretary of State announced a new legally enforceable code of conduct, and measures to curb contractor costs and cut red tape. The announcement of measures to simplify the bidding process to support SMEs in the sector and drive greater innovation are particularly welcome and in-line with CDR's objectives to support SMEs and local organisations in UK aid funded programming and support DFID’s objective to promote greater competition in the sector. The government announcement is available here.
Over the next few months, CDR will be undertaking a number of activities to ensure that our members are providing leadership on improving standards in the sector. We will be launching a programme of engagement to promote best practice in sub-contractor management and undertaking specific work on transparency and knowledge sharing.
It is our hope that the reforms announced today will ultimately drive greater impact for beneficiaries and value for the British taxpayer. We stand ready to monitor their impacts and work with the department in their implementation.