News story

New independent commission unveiled

A new independent body which will ensure aid projects are delivering maximum value for money has been unveiled before Parliament.

The new Chief Commissioner has been announced today as former President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Graham Ward. The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will use a traffic light system in around 20 reports a year to rate the effectiveness of aid programmes.

Increased aid spending must be matched by greater independent scrutiny - which is why the Independent Commission for Aid Impact is being established. The Independent Commission will focus on ensuring all UK aid is well spent.

The new Independent Commission is the first of its kind and will lead the world in aid accountability, combining the very best from both audit scrutiny and development evaluation bodies.

Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said:

“The UK Government is dispensing with the power to sweep things under the carpet. The Commission will shine a light on where aid works and where improvements are needed. We will lead other donors in opening our books to independent scrutiny. We have a duty to squeeze 100 pence of value from every pound.

“Graham Ward is a successful business leader with more than 35 years national and international experience in assurance, standards and scrutiny. He is an expert in accountancy and his whole career has been about intense scrutiny of big business spending.

“Results, transparency and accountability will be our watchwords and will define everything we do. The new Commission has the power to scale up the projects that have proved their success. It will be there to ensure we deliver on our promises.

Chief Commissioner for the Independent Commission for Aid Impact Graham Ward said:

“I am delighted to take up the appointment of Chief Commissioner for the new Independent Commission for Aid Impact. Together with my fellow Commissioners, I look forward to getting on with the vital job of ensuring that our country’s aid budget achieves maximum value and effectiveness.

“I am keen to work with the International Development Committee and members of the public in designing our work programme and to help the Department to learn from both its successes and its weaknesses.”

The Independent Commission will be totally independent from Government. It will have completely separate decision-making powers, staff and location from the Department for International Development.

The Commission will report directly to Parliament. The Chief Commissioner went before a pre-appointment hearing with the International Development Select Committee this week, to which the Commission will report directly.

They will use a traffic light system to judge effectiveness - “red”, through “amber” to “green” meaning it is delivering excellent results. Every penny will be open to scrutiny. The Commission will undertake around 20 major evaluations, reviews and investigations with recommendations per year.

Independent Commission reports will be published on their website directly - with no interference from Government. This means their findings will be immediately available to the UK taxpayer and recipient countries.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.