A fresh campaign to find a qualified finance director is to be launched by
the Ministry of Defence, as the government unveiled a further deadline for
government to up its finance skills.
With a budget of £35bn, the MoD controls the largest element of government
spending not currently managed by a qualified FD a full set of Whitehall.
Repeated deadlines to hire finance heads with accounting qualifications have
been missed, with Treasury permanent secretary Nicholas Macpherson telling the
Public Accounts Committee that he hoped to achieve it by the end of the year.
There is also to be a push to achieve more permanent secretaries with
accounting qualifications working for government. An NAO report recently
suggested there were none.
Current FD Trevor Woolley’s days appear to be numbered as head of the MOD’s
The department’s permanent secretary Bill Jeffrey wrote to senior staff
recently to outline plans to recruit a new FD. Jeffrey said he hoped to fill the
post ‘well before the end of the year’.
Macpherson confirmed the move at the PAC meeting on Monday. The job is to be
advertised as an open competition, meaning figures from outside Whitehall will
be invited to apply but it is unclear how much interest there will be.
‘It was advertised [before] but no one came forward from the private sector.
I’m sure [the selection panel] will succeed because it’s a challenging and
interesting job,’ Macpherson said.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: ‘The MoD employs many qualified
accountants in the FD’s area and Woolley routinely consults them in the course
of his work.’
The MoD refused to comment on the internal memo.
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