The government is to replace the position of principal finance officer, created by the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921, with the new job from December.
Existing PFOs have rarely been professional accountants but the new finance directors ‘will be either qualified accountants themselves, or have qualified accountants of sufficient stature to operate in their own right at the most senior levels of their departments and across the full range of financial functions working to them’.
For the first time finance directors will be expected to sit on their departmental boards, unlike many PFOs. The changes reflect the introduction of resource accounting and budgeting. They will not apply in full for very small departments and their will be special transitional arrangement where needed.
Chief secretary Paul Boateng said: ‘This change will help departments get the most out of the recent changes in the government financial framework.’
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