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Full transparency only way to maintain public trust in UK AID

Anti-poverty group ONE today (SUNDAY) urges DFID to set an example and censure Adam Smith International after a damning report claimed it acted “inappropriately” by making up testimonials for its UK aid delivery work.

Saira O’Mallie, UK Director (interim) of ONE, said:  “As an organisation that believes in a zero tolerance approach to such improper practices as exposed by the IDC investigation, ONE urges meaningful censuring to stamp out such deceit because anything less will further erode public trust in UK Aid.

“However, one bad organisation should not tarnish the majority of vital work carried out by organisations to reduce poverty on behalf of DFID and the British taxpayers, most of which have extremely high standards and transparent processes.

“That said, the British taxpayer deserves to have all aid money spent well and be given a cast iron guarantee it is deployed with the highest ethical standards.

“The onus is now on DFID  to show such abuses will not be tolerated and with assistance from a vigilante media, to police with extreme care and authority all the work of the private sector as it becomes a pivotal vehicle for UK aid delivery. That means open books, open contracts and more transparency that leads to action and reform of aid suppliers. There can be no more excuses.

“UK Aid is under scrutiny because of the tawdry practices of the minority who undermine the reputation of life changing projects –  work that not only strives in difficult environments to saves lives and create, safe, stable and prosperous communities for the world’s poorest, but which also maintains our own safety and security.”