LONDON (AlertNet) - Britain’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening has ordered a probe of the country’s international aid budget to reign in fees claimed by consultancy firms who make millions in fees from contracts by her department, the Daily Mail said on Monday.
Greening, an accountant by training, kicked off the probe after revelations that nearly 500 million pounds was paid out last year to consultancy firms that work on aid-related programmes, the newspaper reported.
Greening, who was appointed to the post last month, has demanded a rapid explanation and is said to be going through the Department for International Development’s (DfID) budget “line by line”.
“Justine will be sure to bring an accountant’s eye to DfID and will be looking extremely closely at every single area of spend to ensure value for money for the British taxpayer,” an unnamed source told the Daily Mail. “She has ordered a full report on all the issues that have been raised on her desk by the end of the month.”
Britain is committed to spending 0.7 percent of its gross domestic product (some 7.8 billion pounds) on aid by 2014. This commitment has come under fire from critics who argue that the country can no longer afford this due to the depth of its economic crisis.