Terms of reference: FCO performance and finances 2012-13

13 September 2013

The inquiry will be based upon the 2012-13 Annual Report and Accounts of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the annual reports for 2012-13 of public bodies sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including the British Council and the BBC World Service.

The Committee seeks evidence on any aspect of the performance, expenditure and administration (including staffing) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its sponsored bodies.

Two particular areas of focus for the inquiry will be the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s engagement with British nationals overseas and with the wider public through digital means (such as Twitter and ministerial blogs): and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s property strategy, including:

  • The criteria used by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in decisions aimed at deriving savings from its estate, including offices, Residences and residential accommodation;
  • The extent to which the overseas estate meets the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s requirements and those of its staff, as well as those of the Government more generally;
  • The “One HMG Overseas” initiative, and plans for further co-location of Government departments overseas.
    Written submissions are invited and should be received by the Committee no later than Tuesday 22 October 2013.

Call for evidence

Please note
As part of a scheme to encourage paperless working and maximise efficiency, the Committee is piloting a new web portal for online submissions of written evidence. Written submissions for this inquiry should therefore be sent via the Foreign Affairs Committee website:

Call for evidence:

Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to submit written evidence to the inquiry.

Written evidence should be received by the Committee no later than Tuesday 22 October 2013.

Form of written evidence:
Submissions must be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs.
Each submission should contain:

  • a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, perhaps explaining their area of expertise or experience;
  •  any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses;
  • and any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.
  • Submissions should be in MS Word format (we cannot process PDFs) with no use of colour or logos.

Inquiry-related questions:
Please contact Kenneth Fox, Committee Clerk, on 020 7219 3278 or

Media enquiries:
Members of the press with enquires should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589 or 07917 488488, or


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