Awards 2006: Sharon Burd – Public sector FD of the year

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The first woman to be appointed as director of finance to the Metropolitan
Police has been awarded this year’s Financial Director of the Year for Public
Services Award.

Sharon Burd has been head of the Met’s finance function during a period of
modernisation and change. The organisation has faced unprecedented challenges to
combat crime and the threat of terrorism and Burd has been instrumental in
putting into place business-like, fit-for-purpose support services for the
£2.9bn organisation.

Her achievements include finding £228m in efficiency savings, implementing
enterprise management systems, streamlining procurement with a resulting £35m in
cumulative cashable savings, and securing extra funding and resources to support
the Met’s growing needs.

The judges said: ‘She is innovative and an all-round top performer who has
transformed her organisation. Sharon has pushed for progress and has clearly put
in a huge effort to attain her achievements.’

Burd’s commitment to training has become an essential part of her campaign to
improve the finance department’s profile and increase its professionalism.
Partnering with the London Boroughs of Islington and Hackney, she has
implemented a three-year graduate trainee scheme to allow the service to nurture
its own future accountants and finance specialists. She has introduced a similar
scheme for school leavers to study with the AAT.

The Met’s finance department is an accredi-ted training body for CIPFA, CIMA,
ACCA and AAT, and Burd holds a Best Practice Employer Certificate from CIPFA for
excellent student support.

In 2003, 22 finance staff were members of CCAB bodies. This has risen to 66
under her tenure. She has also introduced internal training and monthly briefing
sessions to improve financial awareness.

Burd has created a modern and professional finance division that supports
every aspect of the Metropolitan Police Service. Each ‘business group’ within
the service has its own named accountant and team to provide support and
financial expertise.

Outside her finance remit, Burd is also a respected senior member of the
Metropolitan Police Service. She also plays a leading role on the Metropolitan
Forces Committee, working in partnership with colleagues in the West Midlands
and Greater Manchester.


The Metropolitan Police commissioner awarded Burd a commendation for her
commitment to training – the finance division is an accredited training body
with CIPFA, CIMA, ACCA and AAT. She is also one of the few civilian members of
the Association of Chief Police Officers, and an ACCA council member.

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