International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Bill


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Clause 13

Short title and commencement

Amendment made: No. 10, in clause 13, page 7, line 27, leave out ‘9’ and insert ‘(Transparency)’.— [Mr. Thomas.]

Clause 13, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

New Clause 4

PROGRESS TOWARDS UNITED NATIONS 0.7% EXPENDITURE TARGET

    ‘The Secretary of State shall include in each annual report his assessment of the year in which he expects that the target for expenditure on official development assistance to amount to 0.7% of gross national income will be met by the United Kingdom.’.—[Mr. Tom Clarke.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.


 
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New Clause 5

AID EFFECTIVENESS AND MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS 1 TO 7

    ‘(1)   Each annual report must include the Secretary of State’s assessment of the following matters—

      (a)   what progress has been made generally towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 1 to 7,

      (b)   the effectiveness in pursuing Millennium Development Goals 1 to 7 of multilateral aid generally to which the United Kingdom contributes,

      (c)   the effectiveness in pursuing Millennium Development Goals 1 to 7 of bilateral aid provided by the United Kingdom to not fewer than 20 countries specified in the report, selected according to criteria so specified,

      (d)   what progress has been made in promoting untied aid.

    (2)   In this section—

      (a)   references to “Millennium Development Goals 1 to 7” are to Goals 1 to 7 set out in the Annex to United Nations General Assembly document A/56/326 dated 6th September 2001, entitled “Road map towards the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration: Report of the Secretary General”, as those Goals may be amended or modified from time to time,

      (b)   “untied aid” means aid which falls within subsection (3).

    Aid falls within this subsection if—

      (a)   it is either not subject to a condition restricting the states from which goods or services may be purchased using the aid, or (if it is subject to such a condition) the states from which goods or services may be purchased using the aid include all the member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and substantially all states which receive aid from any source, and

      (b)   the provider of the aid has, so far as reasonably practicable, secured that there will be no significant impediment in the purchasing process which would have the effect of a narrower restriction than that mentioned in paragraph (a) on the states from which goods or services will be purchased using the aid.’.—[Mr. Tom Clarke.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 6

Policy coherence and Millennium Development Goal 8

    ‘(1) The Secretary of State shall include in each annual report such general or specific observations as he thinks appropriate on the effects of policies and programmes pursued by Government departments on—

      (a)   the promotion of sustainable development in countries outside the United Kingdom,

      (b)   the reduction of poverty in such countries.

    (2)   Such observations are to include observations on the pursuit of Millennium Development Goal 8, including in particular progress towards—

      (a)   the development of an open trading system that is rule-based and non-discriminatory and expands trading opportunities for low income countries,

      (b)   the development of an open financial system that is rule-based and non-discriminatory,

      (c)   the enhancement of debt relief for low income countries.

    (3)   In this section, “Millennium Development Goal 8” means Goal 8 set out in the Annex to the document mentioned in section (Aid effectiveness and Millennium Development Goals 1 to 7)(2)(a), as that goal may be amended or modified from time to time.’.—[Mr. Tom Clarke.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.


 
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New Clause 1

Statistics to be reported

    ‘Each annual report must include the information set out in the Schedule to this Act.’.[Mr. Thomas.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 2

Transparency

    ‘(1) The Secretary of State shall include in each annual report such observations as he thinks appropriate about the contribution by Government departments to the promotion of transparency in—

      (a)   the provision of aid, and

      (b)   the use made of aid provided.

    (2)   He shall include, in particular, observations about progress in relation to the following—

      (a)   specifying future allocations of aid,

      (b)   securing that aid supports clearly identified development objectives, agreed between those providing and those receiving the aid,

      (c)   promoting the better management of aid, including the prevention of corruption in relation to it,

      (d)   securing improvements in monitoring the use of aid.’.—[Mr. Thomas.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 3

Interpretation, and meaning of terms used in annual report

    ‘(1) In this Act, references (however expressed) to the provision of aid by the United Kingdom are to the provision of aid by Government departments.

    (2)   If an annual report uses terms which have a special meaning, it must include an explanation or a definition of those terms.

    (3)   In particular, each annual report must include an explanation or definition of the following terms—

“bilateral aid”, “gross national income”, “humanitarian assistance”, “low income countries”, “multilateral aid”, “official development assistance”, “sector”.’.—[Mr. Thomas.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Schedule 1

‘INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED IN ANNUAL REPORT

    1      An annual report must include the following information for the most recent relevant period, and for each of the four relevant periods immediately before the most recent one—

      (a)   the amount of bilateral aid provided by the United Kingdom,

      (b)   the amount of multilateral aid provided by the United Kingdom,

      (c)   the amount of debt relief included in each of the amounts mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b),

      (d)   the amount of cancelled export credits included in the amount mentioned in sub-paragraph (c),

      (e)   the amount of bilateral official development assistance provided by the United Kingdom,


 
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      (f)   the amount of multilateral official development assistance provided by the United Kingdom,

      (g)   the amount of the United Kingdom’s imputed share of the aggregate amount of multilateral official development assistance provided by the bodies to which the United Kingdom contributed such assistance,

      (h)   the total of the amounts mentioned in sub-paragraphs (e) and (f), and that total as a percentage of the gross national income of the United Kingdom,

      (i)   what percentage of the amount mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) was provided to low income countries, and how much that amounted to.

    2   (1)   The amount mentioned in paragraph 1(a) for each relevant period is also to be broken down—

      (a)   by region,

      (b)   by country, and

      (c)   by sector.

    (2)   An annual report must also state, in relation to the amount shown for each country pursuant to sub-paragraph (1)(b) of this paragraph, the amount of humanitarian assistance which is included in each full amount.

    3   The amount mentioned in paragraph 1(b) for each relevant period is also to be broken down at least by reference to aid provided through the following (but may be further broken down)—

      (a)   the European Community,

      (b)   the World Bank Group,

      (c)   the United Nations and its agencies,

      (d)   other multilateral organisations.

    4   (1)   The amount mentioned in paragraph 1(e) for each relevant period is also to be broken down by country.

    (2)   An annual report must also state what percentage of the amount mentioned in paragraph 1(e) for each relevant period was provided to low income countries, and how much that amounted to.

    5   (1)   To the extent that it is practicable to do so, the amount mentioned in paragraph 1(g) for each relevant period is also to be broken down by country.

    (2)   An annual report must also state what percentage of the amount mentioned in paragraph 1(g) for each relevant period was provided to low income countries, and how much that amounted to.

    6   The amounts included in the annual report for each country pursuant to paragraphs 2(1)(b) and 4(1) are also to be expressed as a percentage of the whole amount mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) and (e) respectively of paragraph 1.

    7   Nothing in this Act requires information to be included for any relevant period if the figures for that period are not (or not yet) available when the report is prepared; but if they become available later they must be included in the first annual report which is prepared after they become available.

    8   Where the annual report includes a figure for the United Kingdom’s imputed share of any amount, the annual report must include an explanation of how that imputed share was determined.’. —[Mr. Thomas.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Amendments made: No. 11, in title, line 2, leave out

    ‘development assistance as a proportion of gross national income’

and insert

    ‘aid and on the breakdown of such aid’.

No. 12, in title, line 7, leave out

    ‘expenditure in each country; to make provision’

and insert ‘aid expenditure and’.

No. 13, in title, line 8, leave out ‘development assistance’ and insert ‘aid’.—[Mr. Thomas.]


 
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10.45 am

Mr. Thomas: On a point of order, Mr. Hood. I seek your guidance. Do we need to seek a Division on whether the long title as amended should stand part of the Bill?

The Chairman: No.

Tony Baldry: Further to that point of order, Mr. Hood. In fact, it might not be a point of order but I should nevertheless like to make it. We have had, on Second Reading and today, a most comprehensive debate. We have pretty well rewritten the Bill. There can be no excuse, on Report, for any hon. Member from any party to try further to amend this Bill, which has been examined exhaustively. I hope that Opposition and Government Members and the Whips will make it clear to everyone that there will be no patience with any Member of Parliament who seeks to filibuster on Report and Third Reading. I hope that that will be noted.

The Chairman: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right: that was not a point of order.

Question proposed, That the Chairman do report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

Mr. Clarke: Mr. Hood, I seek a little more success in raising a point of order.

I should like to say how much I agree with the hon. Member for Banbury.We have come to the end of what has been a most impressive sitting that could be a model for many other Bills. However, that did not simply happen this morning, although I am grateful for everything that took place today. I should like to thank a number of people who have made a substantial contribution to our progress thus far.

I thank the staff of the various Departments involved, particularly DFID, for their outstanding commitment. I thank my limited staff for the work that they have done. I also thank Committee members and other hon. Members for the work that they have done and for their support. The spokespersons for all the political parties have been constructive in what they had to say and in helping to develop the Bill. I know that they will allow me to thank my hon. and right hon.
 
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Friends, who have been magnificent in their support. I am very grateful for what they are doing and what they will continue to do until the Bill is, we hope, enacted.

We could not have made this progress without the excellent advice of the Clerks, who are sometimes stern but prove, in the end, to be correct. I know that they, too, would want to join me in thanking Dr. Egan for his excellent contribution in recent months.

I also thank two colleagues who have been helpful and constructive, particularly in today’s proceedings. I referred earlier to the generosity of my hon. Friend the Minister, which whom I was discussing these matters even on Sunday. He was right to reflect in his contribution that although we had not always reached agreement, we managed in the end to get to where we are. I was pleased that our discussion on Sunday took place before the famous rugby match, so he was not aware of the frequency with which red cards were delivered to Scotland. I am grateful for the progress that was made and genuinely grateful for my hon. Friend’s work on the Bill, among all the other work that he has had to do in the House this week.

Finally, Mr. Hood, our proceedings would not have been possible and would not have gone so smoothly had it not been for your chairmanship. You have shown again the good humour, sensitivity and knowledge of procedure that we have always associated with you. I have already mentioned Judith Hart. It is obvious that the Clydesdale constituency makes an enormous contribution to the work of the House, particularly international development, and you have personified that this morning, Mr. Hood.

I end by saying that we have, without a single vote, made good progress, taking on board the views expressed in the House on Second Reading. We have achieved consensus, which reflects well not just on the Committee, but on Parliament. I hope that the consensus, good will and practical approach to progress on international development will be reflected in our proceedings on Report and Third Reading.

The Chairman: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his kind words. The word “sensitivity” is not generally used to describe me.

Question put and agreed to

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose at nine minutes to Eleven o’clock.

                                                                                           
 
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Prepared 16 February 2006