2 November 2017

Today the International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced new reforms of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) work with aid suppliers. 

DFID has been under increased scrutiny after the International Development Committee (IDC) released a report in April 2017 reviewing DFID’s use of private sector contractors. The report urged the Department to take a “more robust approach to the procurement, oversight and evaluation of the delivery of aid programmes by contractors.”

Bond submitted evidence to the International Development Committee highlighting the importance of multi-actor bids due to the differing types of expertise, skills and knowledge different sectors bring to the table, including the private sector. In this submission, Bond also flagged the importance of having a level playing field to ensure Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are not used as “bid candy” by private contractors to attract a bid, only to be dropped at a later stage.

Responding to DFID’s announcement, Tamsyn Barton, chief executive of Bond, said:

“We welcome the aim in DFID Secretary of State's announcement to increase transparency and raise standards to ensure the best deal for the world’s poorest people. We are also pleased to see an effort to rebalance so that small organisations can compete with larger ones – a diversified supplier base has the potential to bring together the expertise, skills and knowledge from different sectors. It’s reassuring to hear that there will be a crackdown on “bid candy” practices by which private contractors use Civil Society Organisations to attract a bid, but then drop them at a later stage - often after the Civil Society Organisation has invested significant resources in supporting the bid preparation process.

We haven’t seen the detail of what is proposed yet, and we would want to be sure that the “tough new reforms” are not excessively bureaucratic and applied disproportionately to Civil Society Organisations.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 450 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.

2. Bond submitted evidence to the International Development Committee report “DFID’s use of private sector contractors”. 

3. Spokespeople are available on request. For further information or interviews please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or mmohsin@bond.org.uk