House of Commons Papers
Departmental Annual Report 2010-11
HC 1618, Eleventh Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Foreign Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Departmental Annual Report 2010-11 (HC 1618)' reports that despite the impressive performance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in representing the UK's interests across the globe with what is, in Governmental terms, a particularly small budget, the Foreign Affairs Committee believes that the FCO is under-funded. This situation has been exacerbated by the Spending Review 2010 and the lack of detail provided by the FCO and the BBC World Service as to exactly how the spending reductions target will be met is disappointing.
There are concerns about the steps taken by the FCO to adjust to its reduced budget: reductions in the deployment of UK-based staff overseas and the optimistic planned programme of property sales will have a detrimental impact on the ability of the UK to protect its interests overseas. The establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS) will place a further strain on the FCO's resources.
The Committee welcomes the appointment of Lord Williams of Baglan to the post of "International Trustee" with responsibility for the BBC World Service, but reiterates its belief that a formal concordat governing the World Service's budget and output should be drawn up setting out the World Service's independence from budgetary pressures elsewhere in the BBC.
The budget cuts faced by the British Council will lead to the Council becoming a substantially different organisation by the end of the Spending Review period. The greater emphasis that the British Council will place on commercial activity risks a diminution of the UK's influence and soft power.
|Format||Paperback||Published||13 Apr 2012|
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