The former head of the Government Accountancy Service has been appointed the
inaugural chairman of the proposed new National Audit Office board despite a
delay affecting legislation reforming the governance of the NAO.
Sir Andrew Likierman, the former President of CIMA, who oversaw the
transformation of government accounting from a cash to its current accruals
basis, was chosen by agreement between Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Public
Accounts Committee chairman Edward Leigh.
The proposed constitutional renewal bill, published in draft form in March,
has been put on the back burner to allow the government to concentrate on
the economic crisis. It will now be introduced ‘as soon as parliamentary
time allows’ – possibly later in 2009.
The NAO has already signaled that the reforms sparked by the expenses row
in 2007 which lead to the departure of former comptroller and auditor
general Sir John Bourn will proceed pending the necessary legislation.
Professor Likierman’s first task in the one-day-a-week post, worth some
£50,000 a year, will be to oversee the appointment of a new C&AG to replace
current post-holder Tim Burr.
Like Burr’s successor, who will have a guaranteed term of office, Likierman’s
appointment will be subject to confirmation by Parliament.
Likierman has been professor of management practice in accounting at the
London Business School, a non-executive director of the Bank of England and
non-executive chairman of MORI Group Limited.
Leigh said he was ‘delighted’ with the appointment of ‘an outstanding
candidate with profound knowledge and experience of both the public and the
private sectors and with a distinguished academic record’ and looked forward
to working with him.
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