Foreign & Commonwealth Office

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The FCO is responsible for several streams of Overseas Development Aid and related funding, including spending allocations from some cross-govt pooled funds, such as the Prosperity Fund and the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. It also oversees bilateral development assistance programmes, diplomacy-related aid costs and some contributions to multilateral organisations. It is responsible for the #British Council and the #Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The FCO is not an IATI member, but first published to IATI in Jul.2013. PWYF page
    2018: Poor 34.3%   2014: Poor   2013: Poor 

Executive Agencies


Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies

British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with. ref

Great Britain / China Centre


Westminster Foundation for Democracy

The WFD is dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. WFD partners with UK political parties, parliaments, electoral and financial audit institutions to help over 30 developing countries make their governments fairer, more effective and accountable.

See main article: Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission


Public Corporations


Other Bodies

Chevening Scholarship Programme

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

We work secretly overseas, developing foreign contacts and gathering intelligence that helps to make the UK safer and more prosperous. We help the UK identify and exploit opportunities as well as navigate risks to our national security, military effectiveness and economy. We work across the globe to counter terrorism, resolve international conflict and prevent the spread of nuclear and other non-conventional weapons. We are here to help protect the UK’s people, economy and interests. ref

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

See main article: Government Communications Headquarters

GCHQ is an intelligence and security organisation responsible for providing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the govt and armed forces of the UK.ref Although GCHQ is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, it is not a part of the Foreign Office, and its director ranks as a Permanent Secretary.

National Cyber Security Centre

In Oct.1969, CESD was merged into GCHQ and became the Communications-Electronic Security Group (CESG). CESG continued as the UK National Technical Authority for information assurance, including cryptography. CESG did not manufacture security equipment itself, but worked with industry to ensure the availability of suitable products and services, while GCHQ itself funded research into such areas, for example to the Centre for Quantum Computing at Oxford University and the Heilbronn Institute at the University of Bristol. DDG

  • Sept.21.2018: Britain launches £250m cyber‑force to wage war on terrorists. An offensive cyber-force to combat hostile states, terrorist groups and domestic gangs will be set up by the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ. The £250 million unit will comprise about 2,000 digital warriors, with experts recruited from the military, security services and industry. It will quadruple the number of personnel in offensive cyber-roles and marks a step change in the nation’s ability to disrupt and destroy computer networks and internet-connected devices. The creation of the force comes as the threat from Russia is escalating and follows successful UK cyber-attacks against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Recruits will also target criminal gangs, including people-traffickers and paedophile rings. The force is expected to be announced soon and follows a review ordered by Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary. Initially given the working name “joint cyber-force”, it will have its own headquarters because GCHQ’s central base in Cheltenham is at capacity. Sites under consideration include RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire and MoD Corsham in Wiltshire. Lucy Fisher, The Times.
  • Nov.15.2017: Kremlin is trying to undermine us, says cyberdefence chief. Russia is seeking to undermine international order and its computer hackers have recently attacked the UK’s energy, telecommunications and media sectors, Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the NCSC is to warn today. Fiona Hamilton, The Times.


  • Dec.10.2018: Foreign Office investigates reports that state-funded body targeted Corbyn. The Foreign Office minister, Alan Duncan, has ordered an investigation into reports the govt provided funding to the Institute for Statecraft, a Scottish-based company, meant to counter online Russian propaganda, which also spread unfavourable views about Jeremy Corbyn. Leaked documents show it tried to promote tweets calling the Labour leader a “useful idiot” who helped the Kremlin cause, and attacked members of his staff. Other messages targeted Corbyn’s chief aide, Seumas Milne. Peter Walker, {{{website}}}.
  • Apr.09.2018: Brexit: Ireland's EU commissioner rubbishes Theresa May's 'Global Britain' plan. Ireland’s EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has rubbished Theresa May's plan for a "global Britain" trading with the world after Brexit, warning that there are “stubborn facts that over-shadow a rosy picture” painted by the prime minister. Phil Hogan said the UK would become a “medium-sized nation” after it left the EU with reduced bargaining power, and that the value of the Pound would become increasingly vulnerable to shocks. Mr Hogan also warned that the Commonwealth was “not a cohesive bloc” to replace trade with the EU with and that rolling over existing trade agreements would “take years to negotiate”. Jon Stone, The Guardian.
  • Mar.12.2018: Foreign Office policy of Global Britain is 'superficial rebranding' The Foreign Office's post-Brexit policy of "Global Britain" is a meaningless slogan, currently underpinned by no clear political, strategic or funding analysis, MPs have said. Sir Simon Fraser told the committee he feared the FCO had so far produced only "mushy thinking" and "simplistic words". Chair of the committee, Tom Tugenhadt, rapidly becoming a thorn in the side of the Foreign secretary Boris Johnson, said the govt needed to set out what the policy meant. Recent official data from the FCO shows it intends to spend £4.2m funding 50 new posts in Europe. A paper by the Centre for European Reform shows both the EU and UK have declined to be specific about the kind of future foreign policy relationship they have in mind. Patrick Wintour, The Guardian.
  • Mar.06.2018: Senior diplomat Jolyon Welsh seconded to Saudi lobbying company. Jolyon Welsh, a senior British diplomat, is working for a company at the heart of a multimillion-dollar Saudi PR offensive while still employed by the Foreign Office. Jolyon Welsh's FCO roles have included deputy head of Middle East, was given special unpaid leave in 2014 to become a senior director of Consulum, a communications firm founded by former executives from Bell Pottinger, the agency that collapsed last year after a scandal over a campaign for the Gupta family in South Africa. Mr Welsh is one of a small group of employees to whom the FO gives a temporary permit to work in the private sector, including public relations work for foreign govts, documents obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism show. British officials see the improvement of Saudi Arabia’s image as a strategic priority, not least because of controversial sales of British weapons used in the conflict in Yemen. Saudi officials have welcomed Britain’s pending exit from the EU, seeing it as an opportunity to deepen ties without "lecturing" over human rights. The Times, Abigail Fielding-Smith
  • Feb.06.2016: Dogs of war: Who are the British mercenaries roaming Africa accused of 'war crimes'? The reason for this proliferation is twofold: "It's a mix of both the application of responsibility, but also the cost side of it". (1) A great number of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) were awarded contracts following a huge political outcry over the presence of British troops during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Therefore, in order to try and get around that, we know the British govt had arranged with other states for private security contractors to do the same job, of working with the rebels in Libya, because NATO forces didn't want to be seen to be on the ground". The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has awarded contracts to (PMSCs) in conflict zones totalling around £50m annually. According to a Freedom of Information request, it contracted two PMSCs, Security Industry#Control Risks] and Security Industry#GardaWorld, in Libya for "mobile and static guarding" for a total of £8.5m. (2) The privatisation of this militarised security is financially preferable. "If you want to have round-the-clock protection of oil and shipping lanes in the sea off the East Coast of Africa, then it's going to cost you millions to have sovereign troops doing that. Whereas if you can outsource it to private military contractors, it makes it that much more convenient and you know that they don't have to abide by the same rules or chain of command," Hilary explained. "The worst examples are where you had contractors opening fire on other individuals - armed and unarmed. There was no sense in which they had to follow orders or any preliminary conditions they had to have met before they could use lethal force. Now, the licence to commit murder outside any control has almost been normalised." Elsa Buchanan, International Business Times.
  • Nov.02.2010: The rise of the UK's private security companies. In 2009, the Foreign Office (which is responsible for PSC contracts) spent a total of £51m on PSC contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq. £27m was spent in Afghanistan alone, with ArmorGroup and its new owner G4S pocketing all but a few £hundred thousand of it, primarily for protecting UK embassies and diplomats. In Iraq, Control Risks earned a healthy £16.8m for providing mobile security, out of a total spend of £24m. Edwin Lane, BBC News.