New CIPFA chief upbeat on future of public sector

In his first full interview since taking over last week, Steve Freer, former treasurer at Warwickshire County Council, told Accountancy Age that recent reforms had brought life to the public after two decades of decline. He said CIPFA was in a strong position to exploit the improvements.

‘We have to free ourselves from the mindset that the public sector is in decline. The public sector is about to take off,’ he said.

Freer takes over from David Adams who retired on March 1 after three years in CIPFA’s top post.

Adams, whose leadership saw a reversal of falling student numbers and turned a deficit into a surplus, revealed that he had to face down angry institute staff shortly after joining CIPFA.

However, after naming the meeting as one of the worst moments during his time at CIPFA, he also described it as a turning-point for the institute in its struggle reorganise and regain its former success.

A profile of Steve Freer will be published on, and in Accountancy Age, this Thursday.

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