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Our Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/21

The FCDO Services Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/21 was laid before Parliament on 15 July 2021. 

A year of challenge and achievement

Throughout 2020/21, we have continued to support the FCDO, UK government departments and our international partners throughout the pandemic. The achievements of the last year are testament to the incredible efforts of the combined experience of our staff, and the trust placed in them by our customers.  

The Annual Report and Accounts highlights some of the projects and operations that demonstrate the organisation’s key strategic objectives: to be trusted, agile and global. These include our remote radar work for the RAF on programme HYDRA, our emergency response to the explosions at the port of Beirut, the global deployment of COVID-19 vaccines for HMG staff, and our work for the Cabinet Office, translating their HGV app into 8 different languages. 

As a Trading Fund of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, we are required to produce a set of financial reports to be laid before Parliament. The Annual Report and Accounts also contains details of the financial records and governance arrangements for the organisation.   

Continuing to deliver

Danny Payne CMG, the Chief Executive of FCDO Services, praised the experience and agility of our trusted teams enabling the organisation to continue to deliver during a challenging year: 

FCDO Services responded rapidly to a changing situation. The organisation adjusted its strategy and Corporate Plan to reflect the new operating environment. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all those who have worked tirelessly to navigate the organisation through this period of unprecedented change.

The careful balance of increasing business with international partners and other government departments, while maintaining and developing our work for the FCDO, alongside careful cost saving efficiencies has enabled the organisation to finish the financial year in a position of surplus: a significant achievement considering the challenges. In addition, we are pleased to have met or exceeded our ministerial targets for the year.

In his foreword to the Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/21, the Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for FCDO Services, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, thanked the organisation for its phenomenal efforts over the past year, navigating not only the COVID-19 pandemic but also the merger of the FCO and DfID:

It has been an extraordinary year for the Trading Fund, which has had to navigate not only the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development (DfID) and the UK’s new relationship with the EU. On behalf of the Foreign Secretary and the FCDO staff around the world, I thank FCDO Services for continuing to maintain the diplomatic platform during a period of unprecedented change.

Sir Simon Gass, Chair of the FCDO Services Board paid tribute to the efforts of the staff working around the world: 

From maintaining the diplomatic platform, to ensuring vital supplies (including vaccines) get to Posts via our logistics operation, staff have once again gone the extra mile to keep as many services as operational as possible.

75 years for UK NACE

The Annual Report and Accounts also celebrates UK NACE’s 75th year. UK NACE, the National Technical Authority (NTA) for technical security, has performed over 125 inspections and evaluations of government and industry sites. This has included eight major building projects, seven of which were overseas. UK NACE has strengthened its place in the UK security community by playing a central role alongside the other NTAs – the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – in the Government Security Group, which develops policies, strategies and advice for the government. Read more about UK NACE. 

This is also the 75th anniversary of the Diplomatic Wireless Service, from where FCDO Services began. The vital work supporting the UK’s diplomatic efforts at home and abroad continues to this day.