On 13 November the Government announced the Triennial Review of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) and is seeking the views of stakeholders who wish to contribute to the Review. Triennial Reviews of Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) are part of the Government’s commitment to review all NDPBs, with the aim of increasing accountability for actions carried out on behalf of the State.
CSC is an executive NDPB and is responsible for managing Britain’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). The CSFP is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries.
Reviews are carried out in line with Cabinet Office principles and guidance. The aims of the Review are:
- to identify and examine the key functions of CSC and consider whether the functions are still needed
- if the need is agreed, to consider how this function might best be delivered
If the outcome of the first stage of the review is that CSC should remain as an executive NDPB:
- to review CSC’s control and governance arrangements to ensure it is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance
In support of these aims we would welcome input and evidence from stakeholders, focussed on three main issues:
- Do the key functions performed by CSC continue to be necessary and appropriate for the successful management of the UK’s contribution to the Commonwealth and Scholarship Fellowship Plan? You might want to consider issues such as: how the functions contribute to the core business of DFID, the sponsor department; independent scrutiny and advice; is stakeholder engagement and transparency of information important?
- If you consider the CSC’s functions remain valid, are these functions best delivered by a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB)? You might wish to consider issues such as: could delivery of the functions be taken in house and performed by civil servants or the wider public service?; could the functions be delivered through more informal ad hoc arrangements?; could the functions be merged with another NDPB?
- If you consider that an executive NDPB is the right delivery mechanism for the functions of CSC, what improvements could be made to support the effective and efficient delivery of CSC’s remit? You might wish to consider issues such as: does CSC do a good job – does it offer value for money?; is CSC politically impartial?; do you trust CSC as a source of independent advice and authoritative information?; has CSC the necessary skills and experience to fulfil its remit?
Reference: CSC Review
Review open date: Monday 10 December 2012
Review close date: Friday 4 January 2013
Post: The Commonwealth Team
United Nations and Commonwealth Department
Department for International Development