The Future of CDC - International Development Committee Contents

Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers 52-78)

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 yourselves?

Penny Fowler: Yes, I'm Penny Fowler, I head up Oxfam's Private Sector Advocacy Team in our Campaigns and Policy Division.

Richard Brooks: I'm Richard Brooks, and I've reported on CDC for Private Eye magazine.[4]

Q52   Chair: 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 this—the Government's reviewing it in any case—is how could it do things differently and better? That's the general point, so just a short take on that.

Richard Brooks: 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 couldn't do.

Q53   Chair: By "others" you mean private sector?

Richard Brooks: 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".

Q54   Chair: 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 targeted—whether it's targeted in sectors that are directly beneficial for people living in poverty—will 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 benefit them.

Q56   Chair: 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.

Richard Brooks: 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 life better?

Richard Brooks: 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 places.

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 areas?

Richard Brooks: 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?

Richard Brooks: Certainly.

Q60   Chair: 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 engaged—for example, in agriculture, smallholder agriculture in particular—should 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 regions—the obvious ones from our experience would be smallholder agriculture, finance for agricultural related small and medium­sized enterprises, rural infrastructure—might 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 CDC?

Penny Fowler: Yes.

Richard Brooks: Yes.

Q62   Anas Sarwar: It's an easy question.

Richard Brooks: 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?

Richard Brooks: 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?

Richard Brooks: 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 that.

Q65   Chair: 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 their impacts.

Richard Brooks: 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 off.

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.

Richard Brooks: 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 transparency?

Richard Brooks: Quite the reverse. It demands complete secrecy.

Q68   Chair: 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 transparency?

Richard Brooks: The use of tax havens to invest in the investee companies, as a place to locate the fund managers and the collective vehicles—the holding companies in which investors come together—is 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.

Q69   Chair: Presumably the implication is then that if the Government decided that CDC should not operate in this way, it should be open and transparent—it's not to be compared with a private sector equity fund because it is the public sector development fund—it 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?

Richard Brooks: 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.

Richard Brooks: 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 some—including those I mentioned already where there's evidence of the poverty benefits of investing in smallholder agricultural or finance for agricultural SMEs—where 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.

Richard Brooks: 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.

Richard Brooks: 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 place.

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?

Richard Brooks: 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.

Q75   Chair: 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 fund?

Penny Fowler: Given that we outlined something like that in our written submission[5], 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 possible.

Q76   Chair: 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?

Richard Brooks: 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.

Q77   Chair: 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.

Richard Brooks: 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 wrong—I think we're more interested in the future—but 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?

Richard Brooks: 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.

Richard Brooks: 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 very much.

4   Richard Brooks, 3rd September 2010. That's Rich! How Britain's poverty relief fund abandoned the poor … while its bosses cleaned up. Private Eye.  Back

5   Ev 56 Back

previous page contents

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 3 March 2011