Financial watchdog found five of 11 government bodies managing Britain’s £13.3 billion overseas aid budget spend the cash in last three months of the year.
HUNDREDS of millions in taxpayers’ cash is being shovelled out of the door without proper checks just to meet Britain’s foreign aid spending target, a shocking report reveals.
Financial watchdog the National Audit Office found five of the 11 government bodies in charge of Britain’s £13.3 billion a year overseas aid budget spend the cash in the last three months of the year.
Alarmingly, only two of the bodies were able to forecast in August 2016 how they would spend the remainder of their budget for the last four months of the year.
Three in every £4 of Britain’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) budget is spent by the Department for International Development (Dfid) but the NAO report found the remaining 26 per cent of funding – £3.5 billion – was most at risk.
This is spent by departments across government – including the Foreign Office, Home Office and the Education and Culture departments, which causes “gaps in accountability and responsibility” and “requires more effort to manage,” according to the NAO.
It warns that having to spend the cash within the calendar year “creates a risk that expenditure might be rushed, potentially undermining value for money”.
The problems are due to the massive spike in the foreign aid budget since David Cameron’s expensive decision to enshrine in law the target to spend 0.7 per cent on Overseas Development Assistance.