Committee announces inquiry into the Future of CDC

22 October 2010

The International Development Committee is to conduct an inquiry into CDC, the UK’s development finance institution.

CDC is wholly owned by the Department for International Development (DFID). CDC was created after World War II as the Colonial (later Commonwealth) Development Corporation to invest in developing countries. It does not make direct investments, but instead invests with fund managers with the aim of maximising sustainable business growth and mobilising private finance. 

CDC has faced increasing criticism amidst concerns that it has become disengaged from one of its core objectives: sustainable economic development. 

The government has no involvement in CDC’s day-to-day decision making which is carried out by the CDC Board of executive and non-executive directors based in London. The Secretary of State for International Development proposed reforms to the CDC on 12 October 2010. 

Invitation to submit Written Evidence

The Committee invites short written submissions from interested organisations and individuals, especially those from developing countries, or those who have had direct dealings with CDC.

The Committee has already received recent evidence relating to CDC in connection with its other inquiries and will now consider that evidence as part this inquiry.

The key focus for the inquiry into CDC will be to assess:

  • the effectiveness of CDC compared with other similar institutions;
  • the reforms proposed by the Secretary of State for International Development on 12 October 2010 and the feasibility of achieving desired results given the CDC’s current resources, including staffing;
  • the extent to which the proposed reforms will be sufficient to refocus CDC’s efforts, especially with respect to poverty reduction;
  • whether alternative options, including the abolition of the CDC, should be adopted; and
  • DFID’s shareholding in Actis, CDC’s largest Fund Manager.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Thursday 18th November 2010. Individuals and organisations interested in giving written evidence may find the detailed guidance for evidence to House of Commons Select Committees particularly useful.

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