Statement: IDC’s inquiry on DFID’s Use of Private Contractors


The publication today of the International Development Committee (IDC)’s report into DFID’s use of private contractors marks an important turning point for the industry and for ASI, said Sir Martin Davidson, the incoming Chairman of Adam Smith International (ASI).

Sir Martin, former CEO of the British Council, joined ASI as part of a major restructuring announced in March. He said the report reflected and confirmed earlier findings from the IDC.  As well, he acknowledged the recent inquiry into ASI specifically and the need to substantially overhaul the company’s behaviour and culture.

‘In response to the IDC inquiry launched in December, and public concern about our industry and company, ASI is in the process of serious reform, with a particular emphasis on strengthening governance and ensuring compliance,’ Sir Martin said.
‘I am extremely conscious, coming from a background of public service, of the duty on organisations that spend money on behalf of the taxpayer. We must, and will be, above reproach.’

In March, the company announced that three of the founding executives would be leaving the company, and that a new Chairman and CEO would be appointed.  Jonathan Pell, is currently holding the reins as interim CEO as a search for the future CEO gets underway. ASI also announced it would restructure itself as a B Corp – a company certified on rigorous standards of social performance.

Among other actions, the company has rolled out a new Code of Conduct and associated training across all territories.

‘I have come in to take responsibility for major change to ensure ASI is a fit-for-purpose, scrupulously honest and transparent organisation. I would like to assure the public and all our stakeholders, including, critically, our own staff, that ASI tomorrow will not be the ASI of the past,’ Sir Martin Davidson said. The company was very conscious that government scrutiny of the industry and of ASI continues, and that demanding expectations would have to be met.

‘I would also like to take this opportunity to mention the very many committed people working for ASI in the field and delivering projects like our key project to support the Free Syrian Police which is already delivering a safer Syria. These hardworking people are not responsible for the corporate mistakes of the past, and their dedication and the results they are delivering continue to make tangible difference to those who need it the most.’

‘ASI is ready to support and respond to government as it continues to shape change in the industry and ensure that public expectations of the delivery of aid are met.’