Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary has announced a new UKaid Transparency Guarantee to ensure that full information on all DFID's spending is made available to public.
Mitchell, who was speaking at the launch of Oxfam's report on 21st Century Aid at the Royal Society, gave this pledge to UK Tax-payers:
“To the British taxpayer I say this: our aim is to spend every penny of every pound of your money wisely and well. We want to squeeze every last ounce of value from it. We owe you that.
“And I promise you as well that in future, when it comes to international development, we will want to see hard evidence of the impact your money makes. Not just dense and impenetrable budget lines but clear evidence of real effect.”
Mitchell's words have already caused panic across some powerful UN Agencies who have called for a "pre-sessional informal brainstorming meeting this morning (June 07)" and review their past and current "affinity" with UK Government, and strategize how to "stall any transparency request" from Mitchell. In the words of a powerful Chief Finance Officer of one of these Agencies: - "we've dealt with Americans before ...certainly wont be difficult to push back Brits as well".
What a difference from Ambassador Susan Rice of US Mission to the United Nations (USUN), who not only seem lost in translation and but has deleted from her vocabulary the words "Transparency and Accountability".
Maybe Susan Rice need to attend a "Capacity building" workshop from DFID and learn a thing or two from Andrew Mitchell.