To: Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee
From: Philip Barton, Everlasting Beneath-Secretary, International, Commonwealth & Improvement Workplace (FCDO)
Accounting officer evaluation: FCDO Integration Portfolio
It’s regular apply for Accounting Officers to scrutinise important coverage proposals or plans to start out or range main initiatives, after which assess whether or not they measure as much as the requirements set out in Managing Public Cash. From April 2017, the federal government has dedicated to make a abstract of the important thing factors from these assessments obtainable to Parliament the place they contain initiatives inside the Authorities’s Main Tasks Portfolio (GMPP).
This Accounting Officer Evaluation considers the GMPP-listed Integration Portfolio which supersedes the Transformation Portfolio initially accepted onto the GMPP.
The Prime Minister introduced the creation of the International, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace (FCDO) on 16 June 2020. The brand new division unites our world-leading improvement and diplomatic experience, safeguarding British pursuits abroad and seizing the alternatives that lie forward.
On 2 September 2020, the International and Commonwealth Workplace (FCO) and the Division for Worldwide Improvement (DFID) have been merged to type the FCDO. A Transformation Portfolio was created to handle the complete set of actions vital to finish the FCO/DFID merger, construct the brand new FCDO, ship alignment of all HMG supply at Submit, and realise the meant tradition change and advantages that circulation from these actions.
Following a overview in February 2022, it was clear that the Portfolio wanted to deal with delivering the programs, insurance policies and processes to allow the 2 legacy organisations to function as a single entity and a revised portfolio construction renamed the ‘Integration Portfolio’ was accepted onto the GMPP in July 2022. The revised portfolio was reviewed by the Infrastructure and Tasks Authority (IPA) in August 2022 and assessed the Portfolio as Inexperienced, which means, “profitable supply to time, price and high quality seems extremely probably and there aren’t any main excellent points that at this stage seem to threaten supply.”
The Integration Portfolio continues to adjust to Parliamentary necessities for the management of expenditure and HMT regularity requirements proceed to be glad. The scope of the programme spend is roofed inside the FCDO’s ambit and the full worth of the programme is inside the FCDO’s delegated authority with funding made obtainable by the FCDO’s Spending Overview settlement.
The Integration Portfolio has been arrange and is compliant with Parliamentary controls or compliance exercise is presently in progress. It has adopted the suitable governance procedures to make sure it’s compliant and has been supported by formal IPA Gateway opinions. The Integration Portfolio work sits inside the regular working insurance policies and procedures of the Division, together with being topic to regular transparency guidelines and inner audit and with its personal governance construction working to IPA requirements. Whereas we proceed to observe the effectiveness of those procedures there aren’t any areas of concern.
Worth for cash
The merger of the FCO and DFID was initiated on the course of Ministers with supply established as a portfolio of actions inside the newly mixed Departmental construction. On this supply format, prices are tracked and submitted quarterly through GMPP returns, for the actions which can be required to merge the 2 legacy departments to type the FCDO, and to allow it to function successfully and effectively as a single organisation. These actions are delivering cashable and non-cashable advantages by course of enhancements, coverage alignment, system integration and enhancement to administration data. Advantages will realise over plenty of years and we’ll proceed to observe worth for cash. At current, there aren’t any areas of concern.
The Integration Portfolio has been assessed as inexperienced for supply confidence in an unbiased overview by the IPA in August 2022. I’m glad that the suitable governance preparations are in place to make sure supply of the actions inside it.
The profitable supply of the Integration Portfolio will lay the foundations for One FCDO: the longer term, regularly bettering FCDO that’s optimally set as much as ship our function, mission and priorities.
As Accounting Officer, I’ve thought of this evaluation and accredited it on 3 February 2023.
This abstract will likely be printed on the Authorities’s web site (www.gov.uk). Copies will likely be deposited within the library of the Home of Commons and despatched to the Comptroller and Auditor Basic and Treasury Officer of Accounts.