DfID cuts 'are a Compact breach'

Cumbrian charity claims funding withdrawal breaches the Compact

A charity that had its funding cancelled by the Department for International Development has asked for it to be reinstated because it says the withdrawal breached the Compact.

The Cumbria Development Education Centre's three-year programme to educate expedition leaders on global citizenship was among five awareness projects to have their funding axed last month by Andrew Mitchell, the new Secretary of State for International Development.

Mitchell said the projects, which had all been running for a year and included teaching young people Brazilian dancing and developing a global school garden network, did not give value for money. Funding would be redirected so that it would have more impact on global poverty, he said.

Eleanor Knowles, director of the Cumbria Development Education Centre, said she was informed of the decision by email at 6pm on Friday 14 May and the following Monday a press release was sent out announcing the decision.

The Compact, which is the agreement governing how public and third sector organisations should behave towards each other, says that when it ends a financial relationship the government should "give organisations an opportunity to respond to the end of the funding and consider the response before making a final decision".

Knowles said: "They've seriously broken the protocols in the Compact. It says an organisation should have a chance to challenge a decision. They've flashed it all over the papers before they've even talked to me."

A DfID spokesman said it acted in accordance with existing grant arrangements.

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