Treasury in rush to hire qualified FDs

The Treasury is facing a last minute rush to have qualified finance directors
head up finance functions of government departments.

With just four months to go before the end of the year the government is 12
FDs short of achieving its target, Accountancy Age has learnt. Two
years ago Tony Blair and Gordon Brown agreed that there should be a qualified FD
at the helm of each department by the end of 2006.

A Treasury spokesman declined to name those departments out of a total of 45,
yet to appoint a qualified FD, but said that it was confident the department
would meet the deadline. There will be no penalty for departments that do not
meet the target.

Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams, said he was ‘astounded’ that it had
taken until now to hire professionally qualified FDs.

‘The government was recently boasting about how much better it had got at
managing public finances but I was astounded that it had never had FDs in place
before now,’ he said.

The most recent appointment was Hunarda Nouss, who will become FD at the
Department for Communities and Local Government (formerly the Office of the
Deputy Prime Minister). Nouss, who moves from the private sector, will take up
her post next month.

The Department of Trade and Industry took on its first ever fully qualified
FD this June, ICAEW-qualified accountant Mark Clarke.

But departments have accelerated attempts this year to recruit or train FDs.
In April there were only 27 fully qualified FDs, while by June they had reached
roughly 73% of the target.

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