To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 8 April (HL14532), what assessment they have made of the impact of cuts to Official Development Assistance (ODA) on contracts both in the UK and abroad entered into by universities as part of research projects funded via the Research Councils; and which authority will be legally responsible for any such contracts broken in the event that the reduction in ODA funding leads to research projects being terminated early or reduced in scope.
26 April 2021
As outlined by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in his previous answer, we are presented with a challenging financial situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.
BEIS delivers R&D ODA funding through a range of Executive Agencies, Research Councils, National Academies, Royal Societies and more. As a result, the Department has several distinct legal agreements with our ODA Delivery Partners; and each of these also has a range of legal relationships with their individual grant holders. We are working with each Delivery Partner to ensure that contractual terms, including relevant notice periods, are respected.