MoD appoints Jon Thompson as FD

The Ministry of Defence has appointed Jon Thompson, head of the Government
Finance Profession, as its first ever fully qualified finance director.

Thompson will take up his post on 12 January, the MoD confirmed exclusively
to Accountancy Age. He will oversee an annual budget of £36.9bn for the
year 2010/11, an MoD spokesman said. His responsibilities also include a
workforce of over 100,000 civilians and nearly 200,000 military personnel.

He has left his position as director of finance at the Department for
Children, Schools and Families where he was responsible for an annual budget of
£70bn in the autumn. He takes over at the MoD from long-standing director of
finance Trevor Woolley who has worked for the MoD since 1975. Thompson remains
as head of the Government Finance Profession.

Thompson’s appointment completes the goal laid down by the then chancellor
Gordon Brown to have finance directors with accountancy qualifications at the
head of all 45 government departments and agencies. Originally the aim was to
meet that goal by the end of 2006 but many departments, in particular the MoD,
struggled to attract the right calibre of candidate.

Many senior finance directors, although interested in playing a role in
central government, are often put off because of the difficult transition back
to the private sector after a stint in government. One of the few senior FDs to
have achieved that transition successfully is Simon Ball, ex CFO at 3i, who was
previously director of finance at the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

The MoD said it would not be making any public announcement as it was an
internal appointment.

Further reading:

Profile: Jon Thompson, FD of the
Department for Children, Schools and Families

Government FDs: who’s who in
government finance

CIPFA man appointed DWP finance

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