HC Deb 28 January 2004 vol 417 cc416-7W
10. Michael Fabricant

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria are used by his Department to avoid fraudulent use of bilateral aid; and if he will make a statement. [151172]

Mr. Gareth Thomas

DFID's Programme and Project Management procedures are designed to minimise the risks of bilateral aid being diverted for fraudulent purposes. The procedures include strict controls over project appraisal, approval, procurement, payments, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, all DFID's activities are open to scrutiny by my Department's Internal Auditors and by the UK National Audit Office (NAO).

DFID is also committed to supporting the improvement of governance, transparency and accountability in developing countries. My Department itself operates, and encourages in others, a "zero tolerance" stance towards fraud and corruption.

Along with other aspects of development, DFID harmonises its anti-fraud and anti-corruption policies with other donors. The NAO commented in a recent report that "DFID's work is well-regarded by its partners who acknowledge the leading and proactive role that DFID plays in tackling corruption issues."

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