Written statements

Government Ministers and a small number of other Members of the two Houses can make a written statement to one or both Houses.

Written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. They also reproduced in the next edition of the Daily Report and of Hansard in the relevant House.

Written statements made before 17 November 2014 were published only in Hansard:

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WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Cabinet Office Update

The UK has worked tirelessly to build our democratic system and values. In recent years, events across the world have demonstrated that sustaining and defending a flourishing democracy is increasingly important.

Therefore, the Cabinet Office is coordinating work and expertise across Government under a new Defending Democracy programme, which has been set up to:

  • protect and secure UK democratic processes, systems and institutions from interference, including from cyber, personnel and physical threats;

  • strengthen the integrity of UK elections;

  • encourage respect for open, fair and safe democratic participation; and

  • promote fact-based and open discourse, including online.

The Government has already started to roll out measures as part of this. On 5 May 2019 we announced a range of measures to crack down on intimidation, malign influence, interference and disinformation.

Following the Committee on Standards in Public Life report, the Government has published the Online Harms White Paper, committed to a new electoral offence, and will legislate to clarifying ‘undue influence’ which includes acts or threats of violence to manipulate someone’s vote. The Government recognises that rising levels of intimidation in public life can stop talented people, particularly women and those from minority backgrounds, from standing for public office. That is why we are taking action to confront it.

As part of the programme, we have also announced a plan for a consultation on electoral integrity, which will seek to address concerns around strengthen provisions which prevent UK democracy from foreign interference. This is something we would certainly invite Parliamentarians and others to engage with as it goes forward and will publish in due course.

Though this is a Government programme, we want to work with people from a broad range of perspectives to inform our work. That is why we are inviting the views of Parliamentarians, political parties, third party organisations, academics, regulators and others on the programme and its outcomes. At the same time, we will continue to consider all the recommendations already made to the Government.

By taking a broad and inclusive approach, this programme can build a consensus on the way forward to continue to defend our democracy in the future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1725
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Senior Civil Service and Senior Military Pay Awards

I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay for the senior civil service and senior military.

The Government received the Senior Salary Review Body’s (SSRB) report on 2019 pay for the senior civil service and senior military on 7 June 2019. This will be presented to Parliament and published on Gov.uk.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low, we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our Civil Service and Senior Military.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

The Government values the independent expertise and insight of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and takes on board the valuable advice, principles outlined, and constructive challenge to the Government’s recommendations outlined in the report. The Government will follow the SSRB’s recommendations, subject to a small number of differences which are set out below.

Within the current context there remains a need to take into account workforce requirements and affordability when making decisions on senior pay, as well as fairness in the approach for senior and junior grades.

Senior Civil Servants

SSRB recommendations set a 2.2% pay award with money allocated in the following priority order:

  • 0.9% targeted at pay progression and anomalies
  • 0.2% set aside for minima increases
  • 1% increase for all SCS not benefiting from the minima increases, and those benefiting by less than 1% from the minima increases should be ‘topped up’ to a 1% increase (estimated cost of 0.9% of the paybill)
  • 0.2% set aside to implement any specialist pay proposals.

The SSRB also recommended reductions to the maxima and commented on priority work to be undertaken for the 2020-21 pay award.

The Government accepts the SSRB’s recommendations in full with the following exceptions:

  • The overall figure should be limited to an average 2% increase in line with the figure contained in the delegated pay remit guidance. The reduction of 0.2% will be taken from the money set aside for specialist pay which we will not be implementing this pay year.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation to decrease the maxima for all pay bands, but to delay implementation of this to next year whilst further work is undertaken on capability-based pay progression to ensure the levels set are robust and there is a clear and positive narrative for reduction.

In addition to the above action for this year’s pay award, the Government commits to:

  • To develop and evaluate a credible robust capability based pay progression system
  • continuing to review the SCS performance management system as a priority; and
  • keeping under review the impact of the interaction between Civil Service pensions and the current tax rules on recruitment and retention.

The Government will continue to engage closely with the SSRB to help develop our proposals further and invites the review body to contribute towards the further review of the Senior Civil Service pay framework including the commitments made above.

Senior Military Officers

The Government has rejected the SSRB’s headline pay award recommendation, and instead will implement a 2% consolidated pay award with effect from 1 April 2019. The Government has accepted the SSRB’s recommendations on senior military salaries to maintain the 10% increase to base pay on promotion from 1-star rank and to not change the current pay differentials for senior medical and dental officers.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1731
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Conflict, Stability and Security Fund Allocations 2019/20

My right honourable friend Lord Young of Cookham made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I wish to update the House on the progress of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) for the Financial Year 2018/19, as well as to announce the initial regional and thematic allocations for this financial year 2019/20.

The CSSF is a cross-government fund which uses both official development assistance (ODA) and non-ODA resources to deliver against both national security and UK Aid objectives, through security, defence, peacekeeping, peace-building and stability activity. In 2018/19, the CSSF spent £1,256.8 million against a cross-government allocation of £1,258.8 million (99.84%). A further breakdown of spend against regional and thematic allocation, by department and by discretionary and non-discretionary spend is included in the CSSF’s Annual Report for 2018/19, published today.

The report includes examples of successful programmes and results as well as ways in which the CSSF has made improvements. A copy of this document is attached and has been published on Gov.uk.

FY 19/20 Allocations

Allocation

Non-ODA

ODA

Total

Middle East North Africa

£20.0 m

£157.3 m

£177.3 m

South Asia

£17.7 m

£89.6 m

£107.3 m

Africa (sub-Saharan)

£33.6 m

£61.3 m

£94.9 m

Overseas Territories

£51.6 m

£5.1m

£56.7 m

Eastern Europe, Central Asia

£23.2 m

£28.8 m

£52.0 m

Western Balkans

£7.5m

£36.0 m

£43.5 m

Americas

£0.3 m

£11.8 m

£12.1 m

Good Governance Fund (Western Balkans and Eastern Europe)

-

£35.9 m

£35.9 m

Asia Pacific

£0.3

£5.2 m

£5.5 m

REGIONAL TOTAL

£154.2 m

£431.0 m

£585.2 m

Migration

£10.0 m

£17.5 m

£27.5 m

Counter Terrorism Programme Fund

£13.3 m

£12.6 m

£25.9 m

Multilateral Strategy

£4.0 m

£18.6 m

£22.6 m

National Security Communications

£2.5 m

-

£2.5 m

Serious and Organised Crime

£3.0 m

£12.0 m

£15.0 m

Commonwealth 18-20 Fund

-

£36.3 m

£36.3 m

THEMATIC TOTAL

£32.8 m

£97.0 m

£129.8 m

Peacekeeping

£291.0 m

£86.1 m

£377.1 m

MOD Deployed Military Activity Pool

£50.0 m

-

£50.0 m

MOD Afghan Security – Operation TORAL

£110.0 m

-

£110.0 m

MOD Operation TOSCA – UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus

£18.1 m

-

£18.1 m

MOD UN Operations in Africa – Operation CATAN (Somalia) and Operation TRENTON (South Sudan)

£19.4 m

-

£19.4 m

Non-Discretionary TOTAL

£488.5 m

£86.1 m

£574.6 m

Corporate Delivery Support & Other (this includes Stabilisation Unit, Joint Funds Unit and pilot activities)

-

£16.0 m

£16.0 m

TOTAL CSSF

£675.5 m

£630.1 m

£1301.2 m

CSSF: Annual Report 2018/2019 (PDF Document, 4.32 MB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1714
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 17 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

I am today laying before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 March 2019 to 25 June 2019’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.


The report is available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the fourth reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act.

The publication of the report reflects the Government’s continued commitment to transparency.

Section 12 - Common Frameworks report (PDF Document, 930.61 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1694
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 03 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Update on common frameworks and intergovernmental relations

Today I have published four documents providing an update on progress towards the formation of the common UK frameworks. These include;

1. a progress report on the formation of the common frameworks;

2. a document outlining key phases necessary to deliver the common frameworks and;

3. an outline framework relating to Hazardous Substances Planning.

4. a set of draft principles for intergovernmental relations.

Publication of these documents reflects the considerable programme of work we have undertaken with the devolved administrations as part of our preparations for EU Exit and beyond.

Together with the devolved administrations, we continue to make significant progress in the development of common frameworks. This work is underpinned by the framework’s principles agreed with the Scottish and Welsh Governments in October 2017 at JMC(EN). Since then, the UK Government has published two iterations of the frameworks analysis, in March 2018 and April 2019 respectively, which set out all the policy areas where EU law intersects with devolved competence and our approach in each. We have also published three statutory reports setting out progress on common frameworks under the terms of the EU (Withdrawal) Act. These reflect the fact that, based on the good work done to date, the UK Government has not brought forward any section 12 regulations under that legislation. The Scottish and Welsh governments have in turn agreed not to diverge in areas where policy discussions are ongoing.

The documents published today reflect the latest developments in this area of work and are intended to underline the UK Government’s commitment to transparency in this area, and facilitate a more detailed process of scrutiny by Parliament and wider stakeholders.

I am also enclosing a set of draft principles for intergovernmental relations. A review of intergovernmental relations was commissioned by the Joint Ministerial Committee (Plenary), consisting of the Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales on 14 March 2018. The UK Government and the devolved administrations continue to work closely with on this joint review of the existing Memorandum of Understanding between us.

The draft principles for intergovernmental relations were developed jointly by a working group of representatives of all four administrations. The principles are intended to establish a solid foundation for the ways in which all four administrations will work together in the future. They will be presented for formal adoption to a future Joint Ministerial Committee (Plenary) and, subject to the timing of its re-establishment, to a new Northern Ireland Executive for its endorsement.

The UK Government and the devolved administrations are committed to making rapid and substantive progress on the review. This will include agreeing a joint plan of next steps, developing a clear timeline covering all four remaining workstreams of the review. This will focus in particular on dispute avoidance and the role of an independent element in the process for resolving any future intergovernmental disputes which might arise.

Agreement on Joint Working (PDF Document, 43.1 KB)
Frameworks Products Update (PDF Document, 444.03 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1648
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 27 June 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Single Departmental Plans

The government have today published an updated set of single departmental plans for 2019-20, covering the duration of the Parliament.

These set out each government department’s objectives and how they will achieve them. Taken together, they show how departments are working to deliver the government’s programme.

This year, following recommendations from the National Audit Office, Public Accounts Committee, and the Institute for Government, CO and HMT officials have worked with departments to improve single departmental plans in three key areas: to ensure that they are more specific, more focussed on departmental priorities and include improved performance indicators.

Building on the introduction of Equality Objectives last year, this year all departments’ plans include diversity and inclusion indicators to track the government’s progress in making the civil service the UK’s most inclusive employee. Each plan too reflects the government’s ambition on diversity in public appointments - that, by 2022, 50% of all public appointees are female and 14% of all public appointments made are from ethnic minorities. They also indicate how departments are contributing to the domestic delivery of the sustainable development goals. For the first time, departments’ plans incorporate the principles of the Public Value Framework. This is just one of the steps we are taking to have a greater focus on outcomes delivered for taxpayer’s money.

Single departmental plans allow Parliament and the public to track departments’ progress and performance against a number of indicators. Their Annual Report and Accounts, which will be published in due course, show how a department has performed against the objectives in their single departmental plan over the course of the last year.

Single departmental plans will be revised annually to reflect new priorities or changes in responsibilities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1629
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 26 June 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

EU Exit preparedness

While the Government believes that leaving the EU with a deal is the best outcome, leaving without a deal remains the legal default at the end of the extension period on 31 October 2019. As a responsible government, we have been preparing to minimise any disruption in the event of a No Deal scenario for over two years and are continuing with these preparations. This statement is intended to provide the House with an update on these preparations.

We have published approximately 750 pieces of communications on No Deal since August 2018, including 106 technical notices explaining to businesses and citizens what they need to do to prepare. Our advice covers a wide range of information, from maintaining funding for EU-funded programmes to driving in the EU after Exit. To provide further advice, we have also contacted businesses directly, for example c.145,000 businesses who trade with the EU to help them get ready for No Deal customs procedures.

Since an extension to Article 50 was agreed between the UK and the EU, the Government has continued to prepare for No Deal. We continue to lay statutory instruments to ensure a functioning statute book by Exit Day. Since 12 April the Government has laid SIs to address deficiencies in retained EU law in areas such as the environment, aviation safety, emissions trading and Euratom. The Government will continue to bring forward further statutory instruments to ensure we are fully prepared for Exit.

We have signed a number of trade continuity agreements, including with Switzerland, a key trading partner. In addition to these signed agreements, the UK has also reached an agreement in principle with South Korea on the terms of a continuity trade agreement, through which businesses will be able to continue to benefit from existing trade arrangements. Once that agreement is signed, the UK will have signed agreements with countries that account for 63% of the UK’s current trade with those countries for which the UK is seeking continuity.

Guaranteeing the supply of critical ‘category 1’ goods, including medicines, medical products, veterinary medicines and chemicals remains an essential element of the Government’s No Deal contingency planning. The Government is therefore undertaking steps to secure freight capacity for suppliers of these goods in a No Deal scenario.

The Department of Health and Social Care is starting the process of setting up an express freight contingency arrangement to support continuity of supply of medicines and medical products. This will be an urgent contingency measure for products requiring urgent delivery, within a 24-48 hour timeframe, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This express freight contingency arrangement forms part of the Department’s multi-layered approach, which includes rerouting medical supplies from the short strait crossings, extra warehouse space, stockpiling, buffer stocks, clarifying regulatory requirements, supporting traders to have all necessary paperwork in place at the border, and strengthening the processes used to deal with shortages to ensure that patients have uninterrupted access to medicines and medical products if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Government will only pay for capacity as and when it is needed and used. This will be designed to cover all of the UK. The Department will be writing to industry to set out further details of these preparations.

The Department for Transport is putting in place a freight capacity framework agreement that will provide government departments with the ability to secure freight capacity for our critical supply chains as and when required. This framework does not commit the Government to purchasing or reserving any freight capacity, but it does provide a flexible list of operators and options for the provision of the capacity that can be drawn upon if needed.

In the coming months, the Government will make further announcements on its preparations for a possible No Deal Exit on 31 October, including on trade continuity agreements to limit disruption to our trade with third countries after we leave the EU.

Many of the most important mitigations require businesses and citizens to act. There have been hundreds of meetings at ministerial and official level to discuss preparedness with businesses and civil society groups. The Government will continue to engage with stakeholders across the UK to ensure they are ready for all scenarios. We have published extensive advice on the steps that businesses and citizens may need to take to prepare for our exit from the EU, which is available on www.gov.uk/euexit.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1623
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 16 May 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

I am today laying before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 December 2018 to 25 March 2019’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The report is available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the third reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act.

A copy of the “The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 December to 25 March 2019” report has been placed in the library of both Houses." The publication of the report reflects the Government’s continued commitment to transparency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1526
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Common Travel Area

Recognising the deep and enduring relationship between our two countries, the UK Government and the Government of Ireland yesterday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming our joint commitment to the Common Travel Area (CTA), and to maintaining the associated rights and privileges of British and Irish citizens under this longstanding reciprocal arrangement.

The UK has consistently reiterated its commitment to maintaining the CTA. Following on from guidance published in February, this Memorandum of Understanding reaffirms the support of the UK Government for the principles of the CTA, and the rights it affords British and Irish citizens when in the other’s State.

The CTA, involving the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and Ireland, facilitates the ability of British and Irish citizens to move freely within it. Flowing from this right to move freely are associated reciprocal rights and privileges that are enjoyed daily by British citizens in Ireland, and Irish citizens in the UK. These include access to employment, healthcare, all levels of education, and social benefits on the same basis as citizens of the other State, as well as the right to vote in local and national parliamentary elections.

Neither Irish citizens in the UK nor British citizens in Ireland are required to take any action to protect their status and rights associated with the CTA. Both Governments are committed to undertake all the work necessary, including through legislative provision, to ensure that the agreed CTA rights and privileges are protected.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1507
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 25 April 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Contingent Liability

It is normal practice, when a government department proposes to undertake a contingent liability in excess of £300,000 for which there is no specific statutory authority, for the Department concerned to present to Parliament a Minute giving particulars of the liability created and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from incurring the liability until fourteen parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the Minute, except in cases of special urgency.

It is the intention of the Government to respect the 2016 referendum result and leave the European Union with a deal as soon as possible. However, there is now a legal need to prepare for possible participation in the European Parliamentary elections, although it remains the government’s intention for the UK to leave the European Union with a deal before 22 May, so that we do not need to participate in these elections.

It is normal practice for the Government to indemnify returning officers in this way to ensure their personal liabilities are covered. The Cabinet Office previously provided an indemnity in 2014 for the European Parliamentary elections. The Cabinet Office also provided an indemnity for the 2015 and 2017 UK Parliamentary general elections, the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner elections, and the Recall of MPs petitions. HM Treasury has approved the indemnity in principle.

Given the highly unusual circumstances, as I hope Hon. Members will appreciate, it has not been possible for the indemnity to be laid in Parliament for 14 sitting days before coming into effect.

On this basis, I have today laid a Minute setting out the Cabinet Office’s proposal to indemnify returning officers for the European Parliamentary elections on 23 May 2019 against uninsured claims that arise out of the conduct of their duties. We will also provide a certificate confirming that we will bear any employee liabilities of the returning officer which would otherwise be covered by insurance procured under the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 04 April 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Common Frameworks Analysis

I am today placing in the libraries of both Houses a copy of the revised UK common frameworks analysis, which is also available on Gov.uk. When the UK leaves the European Union, powers previously exercised at EU level that intersect with devolved competence will flow back directly to Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. In some areas, we will need to maintain UK wide approaches, or common frameworks, after we leave the EU. Frameworks will create a common approach across the UK in a range of policy areas. They will provide a number of benefits, including ensuring it remains simple for businesses from different parts of the UK to trade with each other, helping the UK to fulfil its international obligations, safeguarding our common resources and ensure the effective functioning of the UK internal market.

The revised analysis sets out the progress we have made to develop common frameworks in collaboration with the devolved administrations since the first analysis was published in March 2018. There is a reduction in the number of policy areas where primary legislation is being considered, from 24 to 21, in these areas only some of the elements of the framework are expected to be in legislation. In the majority of areas (reduced from 82 to 78), non-legislative arrangements, such as a concordat, are being considered. The number of areas where no further action is required to create a framework has increased from 49 to 63. In these areas, to ensure certainty for businesses is maintained, the UK Government and devolved administrations will continue to cooperate when appropriate. Finally, there are now only four areas where competence is disputed, and conversations between the UK Government and devolved administrations continue (reduced from twelve in the first publication), demonstrating the significant progress made in this area. These changes demonstrate the careful and considered joint work underway to establish common frameworks, which in some areas has led to reclassification.

The cooperative approach to frameworks so far demonstrates the progress that can be achieved through proceeding collaboratively. We welcome the commitment demonstrated by the Scottish and Welsh Governments to agree on the direction of travel set out in the analysis and to continued close working to develop frameworks. We also welcome the commitment to cooperative working, including in policy areas where no formal common frameworks are required.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 26 February 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

EU Exit Update

On 14 February 2019, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, the Honourable Member for Daventry, made a commitment in the House that I would meet with the Right Honourable Member for Broxtowe on behalf of the Government, to identify information to be published relating to the implications for trade and business of a no-deal exit from the European Union on 29 March 2019.

These discussions have now taken place. In light of these discussions, I am depositing in the Libraries of both Houses the following document: Implications for Trade and Business of a No Deal Exit from the European Union on 29 March.

This document summarises Government activity to prepare for no deal as a contingency plan, and provides an assessment of the implications of a no deal exit for trade and businesses, given the preparations that have been made.

The Government’s primary aim remains to ensure that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March with a negotiated deal which will honour the result of the referendum. However, as a responsible government, it continues to plan for all eventualities. Guidance for businesses and citizens on how to prepare for a no deal scenario can be found on the Government’s Exit guidance website, www.gov.uk/EUExit.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 20 February 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Reforms to Government Outsourcing

Following Carillion’s liquidation in January 2018, the Government’s response ensured continuity of key public services. However, there has been increased scrutiny on the benefits and risks associated with the use of private sector to deliver public services. In light of this, we have been reviewing our outsourcing processes and considering lessons learned.

The review concluded that outsourcing, done well, can deliver significant benefits. It delivers economies of scale that mean services can be provided more efficiently, at lower cost and at better value for the taxpayer. Open and fair competition within free markets encourages creativity and innovation, meaning fresh perspectives and new solutions can be applied to existing policy challenges.

However, it also highlighted that we need to take steps to improve public service outcomes from outsourcing, increase our resilience to supplier failure and rebuild public trust in outsourcing. Today, I am pleased to announce that we have published new guidance for officials that will help government to work smarter with industry, set up contracts up for success and build a more diverse supplier base. These are:

  • Outsourcing Playbook and associated guidance - This will allow departments to make good outsourcing decisions, achieve value for money when outsourcing, and is aimed at everyone involved in the outsourcing of a public service.
  • Supplier Code of Conduct - We have reviewed and updated the Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure that it not only set out the behaviours taxpayers expect of Central Government's suppliers but includes what suppliers should expect of government.
  • Guidance on Corporate Financial Distress which suggests practical steps to take where contract managers have concerns over a supplier's financial health.

The principles of the “Outsourcing Playbook” will apply to all government outsourcing with a particular focus on complex first generation projects and subsequent generations where the service is being delivered in a different or novel way. The eleven key policies published today in the Playbook will ensure that the government gets more projects right from the start. It will promote a diverse and healthy marketplace - and we will have ‘living wills’ in the unlikely event of things going wrong.

In order to ensure that we take into account the wider social benefits to be derived from government contracts, we are extending the requirements of the Social Value Act in central government so that all major procurements will explicitly evaluate social value, where appropriate, rather than just consider it.

The Public Accounts Committee recommended that we review our approach to managing current strategic supplier risk. The revised approach will see the introduction of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Cabinet Office and Strategic Suppliers that reflects a more mature relationship with industry, and provides greater flexibility in how Government manages situations.

In order to build the capability within Departments to outsource effectively and manage outsourced contracts, we are undertaking a programme to accredit and train 30,000 contract managers across the Civil Service by the end of 2021.

Taken together, the measures in this reform package is key to delivering value for money for taxpayers when services are outsourced, strengthening our resilience to supplier failure and rebuilding public trust in outsourcing.

A copy of the Outsourcing Playbook, Financial Distress Guidance and Supplier Code of Conduct have been placed in the library of both Houses.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

I have today laid before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 September 2018 to 25 December 2018’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The report is available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the second reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act.

A copy of the “The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 September 2018 to 25 December 2018” report has been placed in the library of both Houses. The publication of the report reflects the Government’s continued commitment to transparency.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 09 January 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

EU Exit Update

The Government is today publishing a paper, UK Government commitments to Northern Ireland and its integral place in the United Kingdom, which outlines a package of commitments to the people of Northern Ireland as we leave the EU - giving Northern Ireland a strong voice and role in any decision to bring the backstop into effect, and in its implementation in that scenario.

These commitments underline Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom and reflect that it is the only part of the United Kingdom sharing a land border with an EU member state. They seek to address some of the questions that have been asked about the backstop in that regard. We recognise that these alone will not address all of Parliament’s concerns - including for those who have focused on changes from the EU. But it is right that we look to do what we can as a Government to safeguard the interests of the people and businesses of Northern Ireland, and respond to some of the key concerns that have been raised.

The commitments include:

  • Setting out that no new areas of EU law would be applied in a backstop scenario without seeking the agreement of the Northern Ireland Assembly;
  • Ensuring unfettered access for Northern Ireland businesses to the Great Britain economy;
  • Providing a strong role for Stormont before the backstop could be triggered;
  • Giving the Northern Ireland Executive a role in Northern Ireland-specific discussions between the UK and EU under the structures established in the Withdrawal Agreement;
  • Outlining that there would be no regulatory divergence between GB and NI in areas covered by the backstop in any scenario in which it applied;
  • A guarantee that there would be no change to North-South cooperation through the Protocol, preserving the arrangements under Strand II of the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement;
  • A powerful voice for Northern Ireland in future relationship negotiations - putting the voice of the Northern Ireland Executive, along with the other Devolved Administrations, at the heart of that work.

The Government is publishing this paper ahead of the commencement of the meaningful vote debate on the withdrawal deal.

I am placing a copy of the paper UK Government commitments to Northern Ireland and its integral place in the United Kingdom, and a copy of Special meeting of the European Council (Art. 50) (13 December 2018) – Conclusions in the Libraries of both Houses.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 08 January 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces

Today I am announcing the creation of a new European Union Exit and Trade (Preparedness) sub-Committee, which will oversee and ensure effective delivery of plans for an orderly exit from the European Union. This new sub-Committee will replace the former European Union Exit and Trade (Domestic Preparedness, Legislation and Devolution) sub-Committee, which will be disbanded. An updated list of Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces (ITFs) will be made available on Gov.uk. The Borders Inter Ministerial Group and the European Union Exit Inter Ministerial Group will also be disbanded.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 17 December 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Advance from the Contingencies Fund

The Cabinet Office has sought a repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund of £137,110,000.

The requirement has arisen because the Cabinet Office receives a relatively high proportion of its voted funding at Supplementary Estimate, and as a consequence may only draw the related cash from the Consolidated Fund after the Supply and Appropriation Act has received Royal Assent in March 2019.

The cash advance will pay for programmes which will generate Government-wide benefits or savings and are urgent in the public interest, including advancing EU Exit objectives, public inquiries, security, efficient management of Government property and development of IT systems that will benefit the public.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £116,507,000 and capital of £20,603,000 will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Cabinet Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £137,110,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 15 November 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Prosperity Fund Annual Report 2017/18

I wish to update the House on the progress of the Cross-Government Prosperity Fund (PF) for the Financial Year 2017/18.

Created two years ago, the £1.2 billion Prosperity Fund runs over seven years from 2016 to 2023. It forms an integral part of the UK’s Aid Strategy, and ODA commitment of 0.7% of GNI.

The Prosperity Fund is grounded on the premise that economic growth, when sustainable and inclusive, can raise welfare and prosperity in middle income countries. It can also benefit trade and investment with partners such as the United Kingdom. Middle income countries present huge untapped economic potential, yet are home to around 60% of the world’s poor. They often seek our partnership and expertise, and opportunities to trade and grow out of poverty rather than traditional aid.

As the Prime Minister set out during her visit to Africa in August this year, we need to work with these countries; sharing our skills, our experience and our resources to tackle the challenges we face, and to deliver prosperity and security for everyone. The Prosperity Fund is a key driver of this. It removes barriers to trade, builds prosperous partnerships, and enables international and UK business to seize new opportunities. All whilst helping to meet the United Nations global goals for sustainable development and deepening the UK’s relationships with countries across the globe.

Following a review of the cross-government funds, undertaken as part of the National Security Capability Review, ministerial oversight of the Prosperity Fund and the Conflict Stability and Security Fund is now the responsibility of a sub-committee of the National Security Council. The sub-committee, which I chair, ensures that both funds deliver effectively on national security priorities and UK Aid objectives. The cross-government approach of the two Funds allow them to deliver interventions that draw on expertise from across government to tackle today’s stubborn global challenges.

The Prosperity Fund’s second annual report details progress made in 2017/18 towards development of the full portfolio: 26 multi-year programmes operating until 2023, across: investment in infrastructure and human capital; innovation and technology; increasing trade; financial and economic reform; and ease of doing business. Priority countries and regions include: Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria, South Africa, China, India and Southeast Asia.

In 2017/18 the total spend for the Fund was £63 million, of which £7 million was for non-ODA activities. Several programmes are already delivering, like the DFID led Centre for Global Disaster Protection which is building developing countries’ financial resilience to natural disasters to reduce economic and social impacts. Others have been allocated initial funding like the FCO led Global Future Cities programme, which is providing support to Cape Town to better mitigate against climate-related shocks, such as their recent severe drought, which threatened jobs and growth in the region. The remainder are going through final stages of approval or procurement before they begin.

A copy of the 2017/18 Prosperity Fund Annual Report has been placed in the library of both Houses. The publication of the report reflects the Government’s continued commitment to transparency in the delivery of Official Development Assistance.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 13 November 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office and)
Commons

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

I have today laid before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 June 2018 to 25 September 2018’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The report will be made available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the first reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European (Withdrawal) Act.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 25 October 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office )
Commons

Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces

Today I am publishing the updated list of Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces (ITFs).

The updated list includes a new National Security Council (Cross-Government Funds) sub-Committee, which will provide strategic direction to the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and the Prosperity Fund.

Copies of the associated documents will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and published on gov.uk.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-cabinet-committees-system-and-list-of-cabinet-committees

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