Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
Penny Fowler and Richard Brooks
7 December 2010
Chair: Good morning and
thank you very much for coming in. I am sorry we're slightly late,
although I know you had some difficulty getting here, so that
partly explains it. Our objective is to try and finish at half
past, although we may run slightly beyond that. I don't want
to inhibit you, but you do not both need to answer every question.
If you can be crisp in your answers we'll try and be crisp with
the few questions that we have. Of course you are here as two
completely independent witness who just happen to be sharing the
same session. I know you've just introduced yourselves to each
other but nevertheless, for the record, will you just introduce
Penny Fowler: Yes,
I'm Penny Fowler, I head up Oxfam's Private Sector Advocacy Team
in our Campaigns and Policy Division.
I'm Richard Brooks, and I've reported on CDC for Private Eye
Thank you for your written evidence, and thank you for your report,
which I think most of us have read or read at the time. I know
you've been running for quite a long time on CDC issues. I will
just open it up and bring colleagues in with a number of more
detailed questions. If you heard some of the previous evidence,
you'll obviously see where we're coming from. The obvious question
is: to what extent does CDC add value? What does it do that the
private sector doesn't do? In what it does, does it really make
a development difference? That's the essence that we're trying
to get at: what difference does it make and what's its contribution
to development? Obviously the constructive part of thisthe
Government's reviewing it in any caseis how could it do
things differently and better? That's the general point, so just
a short take on that.
Clearly, CDC does do some good. I know I've been a vociferous
critic of the organisation, but it does do some good. The problem
is that it does not do enough. The problem is it's moved away
from the areas where it has done a great deal of good into areas
where, even if it's doing good, it's not doing any good that others
By "others" you mean private sector?
Private sector, private investment, yes. That's the fundamental
flaw in the way it operates at the moment. Whenever you ask questions,
such as whether its activities provide development or are propoor,
and so on, to the extent that they are, you have to bear in mind
whether they are doing it in a way that others wouldn't. I think
that's where the answer is "not enough".
We'll have some more detailed followups from that.
Penny Fowler: A
similar response from me really in short, in that Oxfam would
agree that private investment is essential for economic development
and poverty reduction in developing countries. However, the quality
of that growth and how it's targetedwhether it's targeted
in sectors that are directly beneficial for people living in povertywill
determine the extent to which it's delivering a direct or great
contribution to poverty reduction. We welcome the fact that DFID
is reviewing CDC and exploring whether it could be more proactive
and propoor in its approach, and assessing its performance
on clearer, more explicit development indicators.
Chair: And that's obviously
what we're trying to explore.
Q55 Pauline Latham:
52% of CDC's investment is in four middleincome countries:
India, China, South Africa and Nigeria. In your view is this
focus justifiable, and if not how could the current review seek
to widen CDC's exposure to poorer counties? India we know has
its own space programme, we have billionaires coming over and
buying companies in this country. Clearly there are a lot of
poor still there. Is it right that they should do it? China,
for instance, is investing heavily in Africa. Why are CDC spending
money in China, particularly?
Penny Fowler: The
fact is that there are still many poor people, as you say, in
many middleincome countries. Some recent research by the
Institute of Development Studies suggested that around 75% of
the poorest people live in middleincome rather than lowincome
countries. Therefore, arguably there is still a case to be made
for the UK to be investing in those places, but the point would
be to ensure that the resources we're deploying there are particularly
focused on those poorest groups or sectors that would particularly
If they're investing in China and India, are they doing so in
a way that Chinese and Indian investors couldn't do just as well?
I suppose that would be the key question.
Pauline Latham: Because
China is investing hugely in Africa.
Chair: Does it have anything
different to bring to play that might make a difference in China?
Penny Fowler: I
think it's difficult to assess. In CDC's own literature they
acknowledge the difficulty of determining the extent to which
they're catalysing, through their investments, additional private
capital going into those markets, so it's quite difficult to make
that assessment overall. To the extent that CDC is not reporting
clearly on its development outcomes as ideally we would like to
see it doing makes it less clear as well. So if it were to move
to a situation where it's reporting beyond financial and economic
performance and on specific management of environmental, social
and governance issues, and more explicitly being measured on its
development performance against some more detailed indicators
there, then I think there would be a stronger case for it to continue
investing in those places.
The figures you quote show why it's important not to concentrate
too much on geography. It does depend on the type of investments.
The degree of investment in India and China that built up was
under what looked like quite a progressive investment code, which
was exploited, if you like, in order to increase investments in
India and China in particular, and also in Nigeria and South Africa,
in such a way that private business was doing anyway. This is
one of the problems with having an inflexible code: that it gets
exploited to its limits. You need to go back from that code to
the incentives, because what caused that problem were the incentives;
everybody, the CDC management, the fund managers, were incentivised
to make as much profit as possible. So within the terms of the
code they were able to do exactly what you described.
Q57 Pauline Latham:
If there were more detailed targets with regard to investments
in the middleincome countries, specifying that a certain
percentage should go to poor states, do you think that would make
The code has already changed in that respect, quite significantly.
However, I still think that without changing the incentives that's
of limited use. The new code will be taken to its limits. What
you need to do is get back to what incentives the people who are
running CDC itself, and who are running the investments as fund
managers, have for their performance, because even in the poorest
countries under the current arrangements the incentive is to look
for the maximum return. That can lead you into some very dubious
Q58 Pauline Latham:
So, if the incentives in terms of performancerelated pay,
rather than saying, "The more money you make, the more money
you get," were changed, they would then focus in different
Yes, I think that's the first step. That has to happen at CDC
itself, but there's a fundamental flaw in the private equity model,
in that the private equity fund managers are incentivised in that
way. I don't know to what extent you can change that, but that's
a serious weakness in the model here.
Q59 Pauline Latham:
So if you start at the top you're going to get better targets?
The question is, do either of you have any thoughts about how
you could focus in middleincome countries on ways where
CDC would have something extra to give? Are there any criteria
you could help us with that might focus that?
Penny Fowler: From
a geographical perspective, one idea is looking at the poorer
states or regions. However, in addition to that, I know it's
considered to be slightly controversial, but based on Oxfam's
experience and the evidence from various institutions, including
the FAO and the Bank, certain sectors that are particularly labourintensive
or where a lot of very poor people are engagedfor example,
in agriculture, smallholder agriculture in particularshould
be considered as factors that are used to determine where CDC
is potentially required to direct a proportion of its investments.
The idea of looking at certain sectors or regionsthe obvious
ones from our experience would be smallholder agriculture, finance
for agricultural related small and mediumsized enterprises,
rural infrastructuremight be shown to be particularly beneficial
from a poverty reduction perspective.
Q61 Anas Sarwar:
Short question: do you think it would be beneficial to directly
incorporate poverty alleviation into the mission statement of
Penny Fowler: Yes.
Q62 Anas Sarwar:
It's an easy question.
The point is interesting, because what you're getting at is: what
does CDC see itself for and how do you codify that? One of the
problems is that the codification that has happened has allowed
it to lose direction, to move away from poverty alleviation, so
you need to get that right at the top.
Q63 Anas Sarwar:
So in terms of your own thinking, Richard, obviously from the
article you wrote, you are very critical of what CDC has become,
but I think that you are strongly in favour of it basically getting
back to where it was. Am I right in thinking that or is it more
complicated than that?
It is a bit more complicated, in that things have changed since
1948. In terms of its purpose, yes, it needs to see its purpose
as poverty alleviation and not to equate that with making profit.
The fundamental flaw is that through various steps, particularly
in the last 20 years or so, it has equated making profit with
relieving poverty, and that's just a mistake.
Q64 Anas Sarwar:
And have you compared it to any other models of any other organisations
that are similar to it around the world that it can perhaps better
model itself on?
Other development and finance institutions do appear to have a
better range of investment methods open to them. They appear
not to target profit so heavily, and CDC has a lot to learn from
Your report, if I may say so, slightly suggested that there was
a golden age of CDC where in reality there were some good things
and some mixed things. But you clearly believe there should be
more direct investment activity. I don't know whether you heard
much of the previous evidence, but there were mixed comments about
that. Of course, it requires more management, there's more risk
involved and there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with a fund
of funds if it's more focused and targeted. But do you have a
view that there really ought to be a mix, that just having it
as a pure fund of funds, even if they're more targeted, would
not be enough, and you need to offer a range of different options?
Because if you do, that's a perfectly legitimate point that we
have to consider as a Committee, but it does lead to a much more
radical restructuring of CDC from where it is at the moment.
Penny Fowler: Oxfam's
view is that that should be seriously considered. To go back
to the earlier points, CDC is effectively an arm of DFID, whose
mandate is poverty reduction. I think that DFID as the shareholder
should be a smarter owner of CDC and be clearer about the balance
it expects CDC to deliver between clear development benefits and
financial returns. The current fund of funds model is problematic
to some extent, because while CDC has done quite a lot about requiring
and raising awareness among its fund managers, around managing
environmental, social and governance risks, it requires a different
approach to be more proactive about actively looking for how it
can maximise the development impacts of its investments. That
requires some different kinds of expertise, probably, and closer
management by CDC about directing those investments and monitoring
I agree. I think that there's certainly a need for a wider range
of ways of investing, so not just through private equity but equity
direct investment, lending money where that's the appropriate
method. For all of those, the overarching demand is for greater
accountability so that we can see what's happening to the money.
One of the great frustrations I've had over the last couple of
years is that you just can't follow the money, you can't really
find out what's happening. This is a serious flaw in private
equity. You approach CDC not necessarily on specifics, but on
the way in which their investee company is operating, aspects
that are fundamental to the way they operate, like avoiding tax
as a fundamental part of the structure of the business, and CDC
says it's none of its business; it's down to the fund manager
in the company. You go to the fund manager and they say, "No,
sorry, we're private equity. Don't you understand private?"
You can't ask anybody, so there's a complete vacuum of accountability.
It strikes me that without that, without being able to see what's
happening to public money, the model is fatally flawed from the
Q66 Jeremy Lefroy:
That really leads us on to the next question. In its investment
code, CDC promotes responsible business practices in respect of
the environment, social matters and governance. How far do you
think that investment code is, in fact, implemented, and in respect
of the aggregate fund manager level, is that reporting sufficient?
Penny Fowler: The
investment code has some good elements in it, clearly. There
appear to be quite a few areas that are open to interpretation:
quite a lot of "where appropriates", and that kind of
wording. There could be an argument to try to tighten the investment
code to some extent. CDC in its own documents acknowledges that
the monitoring reports it typically receives from its fund managers
are insufficient to, in some cases, assess the impact of all of
their investments from a development point of view and the level
of detail that you could interpret from the investment code.
There's quite a lot of flexibility in the investment code as to
whether or not that's really required of those fund managers.
So I think that there is a case to be made to tighten that up
and to require clearer reporting on that basis. Otherwise you're
left with a situation where those funds are operating in a very
similar way to any private fund that's managing its ESG risks
and is signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
When you read the code, you think, "Well, that all looks
fine." But as Penny says, there's a lot of room left for
things like tax avoidance and inadequate due diligence. There's
very little way of checking how far the code has been followed.
The main mechanism, as I understand it, is that the fund managers
have to report on development impact to CDC. I've spent quite
a long time trying to get these reports, unsuccessfully, through
the Freedom of Information Act. CDC wouldn't provide them and
the Information Commissioner agreed with CDC that they shouldn't
be provided. CDC said, "In a market that is both highly
competitive and extremely sensitive to adverse publicity, disclosure
of these negative evaluations would or would be likely to prejudice
the fund manager's ability to attract new investors." So
even where we have adverse findings on development we can't know
about it because the commercial imperative overrides disclosure.
So whatever you have written in the code, you can't find out
whether it's being lived up to, and as Penny says it leaves room
for certain kinds of behaviour you wouldn't want as well.
Q67 Jeremy Lefroy:
So just following on from that, CDC doesn't appear to use its
clout as being a major investor in these funds to extract greater
Quite the reverse. It demands complete secrecy.
That brings us on to the role of the offshore centres. 45% of
CD funds are invested through Mauritius, which is not without
its controversy, and CDC says it's "not an apologist for
offshore financial centres" but it's a heavy user of them.
Pauline Latham: You might
recognise that quote.
Chair: It is appropriate
to use these jurisdictions at all, which clearly they defend,
in terms of tax paid, but does it also have an implication for
The use of tax havens to invest in the investee companies, as
a place to locate the fund managers and the collective vehiclesthe
holding companies in which investors come togetheris a
default position, because it presents no problems, it will work
in just about every situation. I think that's lazy, really.
Each investment could be looked at a lot more closely to see whether
it could be done without using tax havens, therefore giving transparency
and enabling people to see what happens to the money. I've looked
at many of them and wondered why they couldn't have used a UK
company. They could have avoided the double taxation that is
cited as the reason for using taxhaven companies, because
UK tax law allows for relief for double taxation. So it is possible,
and I don't think CDC or its fund managers try hard enough. I
don't think they try at all to find a way of making investments
without tax havens. There might be the odd occasion where it
really would be difficult to do it any other way, but we can't
really know. We can't know enough details about the deals they've
done to assess that.
Against that, there's the cost of using the tax havens
as you allude to, which is complete opacity. You just do not
know what's happened to the money in some that I've looked at,
in very dubious situations. We know that CDC has invested through
the fund manager ECP in Nigeria with seriously corrupt people
and their business associates. Now, they've invested collectively
through Mauritius. How do we know what's happened to the money
that's gone to Mauritius and then to the British Virgin Islands
company controlled by these corrupt people? We can't. We should
be able to follow that, but the trail runs cold. CDC itself doesn't
even have the accounts of that holding company. Whilst there
may be marginal justifiable benefit from the occasional use of
tax havens, the cost is very serious.
Presumably the implication is then that if the Government decided
that CDC should not operate in this way, it should be open and
transparentit's not to be compared with a private sector
equity fund because it is the public sector development fundit
would presumably have implications for the rates of return, because
their argument is that by doing it this way we can get a better
rate of return. They will probably go on to justify it by saying
that therefore they have more money to invest in poor countries.
I think what you're saying is the price of lack of transparency,
or opacity, as you put it, is too high a price to pay. Is it
a moral judgment on the kind of fund it is rather than on the
whole business of equity investment?
I think it goes beyond CDC, yes. It's particularly acute because
CDC is using public money. The alternative is that CDC says,
"Look, if you want our investment, everything's going to
have to be out in the open." That wouldn't be the end of
the world, and it may in fact mean that investments get directed
to much more worthwhile businesses. It may be controversial to
say it, but open businesses, which are prepared to show what happens
to their money, may be of greater development and even economic
value than secretive ones.
Penny Fowler: I'd
only add to that that I think DFID and CDC to its fund managers
should be sending a clearer signal about the balance that it's
expecting and potentially accepting lower financial returns if
that delivers clearer development benefits, which may include
this transparency issue as well.
Chair: I think that probably
leads to a number of questions that Jeremy Lefroy has.
Q70 Jeremy Lefroy:
I'm getting the strong impression that, given that this is all
taxpayers' money, we should demand a higher degree of transparency
in where it goes. Obviously, to some extent there may be limits
on commercial transparency, but certainly when it comes to ethical
matters we need much more transparency. That's a question.
The question is how you achieve that. An essential feature of
the private equity model really is the privacy. It's something
for the Committee to consider, but the extent to which you can
open up private equity to make it a sufficiently transparent use
of public money is a difficult one I think.
Q71 Jeremy Lefroy:
Just moving on from that, what areas do you think CDC should be
investing in in order to have a bigger developmental impact than
it does at the moment?
Penny Fowler: I
mentioned some earlier. The fact that CDC is the development
finance arm of DFID and is aiming to demonstrate that private
investment can deliver a financial return and development returns
at the same time suggests that there should be a clearer steer
and focus on the delivery of those development returns, even if
that involves a lower financial return. I guess that while there
is a case to be made for maintaining a degree of separation between
DFID and CDC, at the same time there's a case to be made for incorporating
stronger development expertise into CDC, and/or for there to be
smarter management and collaboration potentially. For example,
within particular countries where DFID will have an expertise
and analysis of where the sectors are that would be particularly
important from a development and a poverty reduction perspective,
I don't know the extent to which CDC would currently be using
that information to inform its own investment strategy in a particular
country, but that's one example. Obviously where the biggest
development impact might be will vary from context to context
and country to country, but there are someincluding those
I mentioned already where there's evidence of the poverty benefits
of investing in smallholder agricultural or finance for agricultural
SMEswhere there's currently a constraint.
Q72 Jeremy Lefroy:
Going back to that, and I fully understand why you're saying that,
do you think that both those sectors are sectors in which CDC
could invest profitably, even accepting perhaps that there'd be
a lower rate of return? Are there examples of other development
finance institutions investing in those areas successfully, albeit
maybe for lower returns, but actually doing what you're wanting
CDC to do?
Penny Fowler: I
think this is an area that DFID's commissioned some research into
and we're trying to look more closely at the extent to which that
would be possible. I think it is an important area to be explored
within the context of the current review of CDC. I think that
there's no getting away from the fact there are often challenges
in investing in smallholder agriculture, for example. Oxfam is
engaging in some collaborative work with some private sector companies
in this area ourselves. You are often required to take a longer
term view and tolerate a lower financial return, at least in the
short to medium term. But I think it needs looking into in more
detail and considering seriously for CDC in the future.
I agree completely. I think that the priority is to look at,
in each country, what is the need in that country? Where would
investment make the greatest contribution to development, bearing
in mind what others are prepared to invest in anyway? You've
got to be careful, I think, not to override that careful consideration
that's needed with too many rules or too many targets that would
just distort investment decisions.
Q73 Jeremy Lefroy:
Moving on from that, one option that's been put forward as a possibility
is that CDC perhaps should continue as it is at the moment, perhaps
with some modifications, but that it should gradually, through
the profits on its current investments, set up a separate fund.
It could be within the same organisation, but would have clearly
separate objectives, which would be to make investments in the
kind of things that you've been suggesting. Would that be a model
that you would think is valid or do you think a greater overhaul
is necessary, given that it's very difficult to liquidate a fund
such as CDC very quickly? In fact, it would be counterproductive
to do so. What we are effectively saying is CDC as it is now
would not grow, but the growth would be through putting the profits
into a second type of fund.
Penny Fowler: I
think that's a possible way to make a change over time, to having
a stronger focus on delivering a development return. As Richard
has suggested, the issue is having a clearer steer about the need
to deliver these development benefits, and then allowing CDC more
space to learn over time and refine its approach, to experiment
and see what works and where the right balance is between how
it can identify potentially viable industries that are stymied
through lack of private investment currently but have really got
a genuine potential to become viable and potentially deliver a
financial return over a longer time period. So it's not saying
that's an easy thing to do, necessarily, but the approach you
suggest would provide one way of it developing some expertise
and some learning, and moving to that different model over time.
I would agree. I'm not sure about the mechanics of changing direction.
That sounds like a viable method, but you have to be careful
that you're not overhasty in counterproductively liquidating
investments just because they weren't the right ones in the first
Q74 Jeremy Lefroy:
One of our previous witnesses referred to the largescale,
one might call "land grabs", that are going on in parts
of the world at the moment, where sometimes even sovereign wealth
funds are coming in and buying up large amounts of agricultural
land. Is this an area where you would actually see that a slightly
reformed CDC would be able to provide a better governance model
for such activities than is going on at the moment?
It's not something that I've looked at in detail, but it is the
sort of thing that CDC should be looking at. It should be thinking
about what role it can play in developing these alternative models.
I'm familiar with the issue you're talking about. I haven't
really thought about what it could do, but it certainly should
be at the leading edge of that thinking about what could be done.
Penny Fowler: That's
a more general point really. I think DFID's often considered
to be one of the leading development agencies, and CDC as its
development finance arm should be aiming to position itself as,
similarly, the leading development finance institution, demonstrating
best practice in these areas and demonstrating business models
and ways of doing investments that genuinely deliver poverty
reduction and development whilst also delivering a financial return,
even if that's over a slightly longer timeframe.
Clearly, if CDC changed its model and started losing money, I
guess that would give you a whole new seam of criticism. I think
taking the Oxfam model, where I think you suggested 50% maybe
should go into direct investment and 50% in funds. You can debate
what the proportion is, but both of you seem to be implying that
a transitional role where you get more transparency, you still
have a commercial return, but you invest some of that in a lower
rate of return longer term, more developmentorientated,
not necessarily more risky, because I think the other evidence
would suggest we shouldn't be taking more risk. Do you think
that would give us the kind of cover that would avoid the risk
of CDC getting into financial difficulties, which would clearly
be an embarrassment to the Government, but also move away from
a situation where, frankly, it's just driven almost by a profit
motive, which doesn't make it very different from a private sector
Penny Fowler: Given
that we outlined something like that in our written submission,
yes, that would sound like a sensible way to proceed, also bearing
in mind that the whole point of CDC and similar development finance
institutions is to demonstrate that investments in these countries
and propoor investment can deliver a financial return.
It needs to be showing that over time and exploring, opening up
new frontiers for private investment and demonstrating what's
And I think you're saying that less requirement for resistance
to Freedom of Information and more positive, proactive transparency
is something that you believe the CDC needs?
Yes, that's one thing that's essential. Given that I mentioned
how the Information Commissioner has viewed Freedom of Information
requests on things like development impact, something needs to
be built into a reformed CDC that means that an Information Commissioner
would judge the public interest to be in disclosure, so the commercial
interests wouldn't have such primacy. Secondly, I think that
the audit arrangements need to be overhauled. CDC needs to be
within the scope of public audit, which it isn't. There are still
some huge unresolved question about the way Actis was created,
and the valuations that were put on investments at the time.
At the time an investment in a mobile phone company, Celtel ,
was valued at $15 million dollars. The next year it was
sold for $250 million. But we can't question the process
of that evaluation. It's just not within the National Audit Office's
scope. When the Public Accounts Committee looked at CDC they
had to look at DFID's management of CDC, not CDC. So a number
of fairly scandalous aspects of CDC were just brushed over. So
I think that needs to be changed, along with greater transparency.
I don't know what the legal situation is, but do either of you
have a view of the future of Actis should be?
Penny Fowler: I
haven't really, no.
Well, Actis is sort of floating free now. It's the one that got
away. I know it was quite a while ago, but I still think there
should be a full investigation into how it was created. People
have told me things that happened, which I haven't been able to
print, about how investments were valued, how everybody knew it
was undervalued, how they were more or less laughing at the process.
People have walked away extremely rich from that, albeit six
and a half years ago.
Chair: Thank you. We have
the opportunity to question both the Chief Executive of CDC and
the Secretary of State, and we will want to probe a little bit
more, not only into what went wrongI think we're more interested
in the futurebut I do take your point, which is how you
can go forward in a way which makes it more open, more transparent,
more development friendly whilst hopefully still being able to
be selffinancing, because the one virtue of it is that it
is able to reinvest money in development and doesn't become a
liability, but there's a long way between where it is now and
that, one would think.
Q78 Jeremy Lefroy:
I just wanted to put one question that we put to the previous
witness. I know there's been a lot of interest in the remuneration
of people employed at CDC. Do you think that it is necessary,
which is the argument that is put, to pay those kinds of remuneration
to attract the kind of highlyskilled individuals who are
needed to work in this particular area?
No, I don't. We heard earlier that people want to work in this
kind of area because it is a very interesting, very useful area
to work in. That counts a lot for people, even bankers. The
reason given for such high pay at CDC was that the comparator
was private equity, and it was appropriate to look at private
equity, which I think was always nonsense. Public sector job
security was completely ignored, as evidenced by the fact that
the 100% owner of CDC, the Secretary of State for International
Development, has just said that it's lost its way. He's made some
extremely critical comments about the organisation and the Chief
Executive is still there. How many Chief Executives in a private
equity fund would still be there once their 100% shareholder said
that he'd lost his way? The pay arrangements are a nonsense.
Penny Fowler: The
other important point that the other witnesses made, which came
up in our session earlier, was about the importance of ensuring
that the reward, the performancerelated pay, is based on
delivering development returns, as well as financial returns,
which is a really critical point.
Chair: These issues have
been raised before, but you can see they attract huge, obvious
controversy. This is about a propoor agency, and the people
running it are millionaires. You made the point in your own articles;
it's very difficult to reconcile the two, unless you can demonstrate
that you wouldn't be able to deliver those results otherwise.
We've had mixed evidence, but I think it points in one direction
overall. I appreciate your coming in. For us, this is an interesting
inquiry, because CDC is a major body owned wholly by DFID. The
Committee did not investigate it in the last Parliament, to some
extent because there wasn't a background of change. There is
now a background of change, against which I think we could usefully
flesh out a lot of different ideas and help perhaps to shape a
different way of doing things, and I think both of you and our
previous witnesses have been very helpful in giving us some pointers.
I must say to you, Mr Brooks, you've obviously been persistent
over a long period of time. I've read quite a number of your reports
and you've clearly gone into a lot of detail. It's created some
degree of paranoia perhaps within CDC. Perhaps they'd be better
off inviting you into their parties rather than shutting you out.
It was nice to get an invitation today, for a change.
Chair: At least you got
some protection in the end. Similarly for Oxfam, I think you've
come up with some useful parameters for us to explore. I'd like
to think all of our inquiries are useful and add value, but this
is one where, even though it's a short one, quite a lot of ideas
have already come out this morning, which can be helpful to the
Department, as well as to ourselves, in producing something helpful
for the future.
Pauline Latham: Is it
next week we're supposed to be seeing CDC?
Chair: We're seeing CDC
next week, and the Secretary of State we're seeing after Christmas.
Pauline Latham: I'm sure
you might be in the audience then.
Chair: Thank you both
4 Richard Brooks, 3rd September 2010. That's Rich!
How Britain's poverty relief fund abandoned the poor
its bosses cleaned up. Private Eye. Back
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