What are your main challenges?
Making sure that government understands the relevance of good cost and management information and financial management to the successful delivery of policies.
Do you believe the fiscal environment can and will make the NAO more influential?
The fiscal environment can and should increase the focus on efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public money. More important than our influence is the Government’s response to the fiscal environment. It must ensure that it focuses on good financial management and I hope that we can help it achieve that.
If you could give one piece of advice to public sector finance directors, what would it be?
Don’t let your role be confined to the traditional finance agenda. It is important that finance directors contribute to all of the strategic objectives of the department and you need to establish yourself as credible and central at that level.
Do you enjoy your role?
Yes. I work with great people at the NAO. It is also fascinating to see so much of what is happening across government and the fact that we can and do make a difference gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
What keeps you awake at night?
Sometimes the rate of issues that arise in my work means I end up thinking about them in the evening, rather than during the working day. But worrying about work doesn’t keep me awake at night. There’s always going to be a certain level of friction in this job – well, in being an auditor full stop – but if it bothers you, you’re in the wrong job!
Turnover: The net cost of the NAO for 2010 was £74.7 million. The NAO’s work in 2009/10 led to savings and efficiency gains of £890 million.
Turnover of audited bodies: In 2010 the NAO audited expenditure and revenue of £950 billion across 475 accounts.
Personal history: Former Defence Commercial Director at the Ministry of Defence. Previously, Global Managing Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.