Faculty boards

Biographies of CIPFA Faculty Heads

Cliff Dalton, Head of Local Government

Cliff DaltonCliff is a CIPFA qualified accountant with over 20 years’ local government experience covering all authority types across the North of England. 

His work experience ranges from chief accountant within East Yorkshire council’s corporate finance function, to devolved finance lead for several service departments, including Highways, Planning, Leisure and Commercial services. Cliff has also led the CCT outsourcing strategy on both blue and white collar areas for East Yorkshire and Hull City Council.

Cliff has a keen interest in training and helped develop a number of Hull’s member and officer finance induction programs while working at the council. He is also a registered lecturer with Hull University and has delivered a number of finance and management modules as part of its Criminal Justice HNC qualification.

In 2003 Cliff moved to CIPFA to help the Institute build upon its commercial aspirations. He was one of the three founder members of CIPFA’s Finance Advisory Network (FAN), which was created to help authorities during their early best value years – post CCT. Shortly after becoming a FAN adviser, Cliff would go on to lead CIPFA’s Police Finance Network, before helping to launch several other advisory services, including its performance improvement and funding advisory service in 2008. By 2010 Cliff managed all of CIPFA’s commercial networks operating out of CIPFA’s London office. 

Cliff now heads CIPFA’s Local Government Faculty, covering both policy and commercial activities. He is also CIPFA’s lead on income generation, efficiency plans and service transformation. 

Cliff continues to work closely with local authority practitioners through his membership of CIPFA’s Yorkshire & Humber Regional Executive Committee. He became a fellow of the Institute in 2016.

Gillian Fawcett, Head of Governments

Gillian Fawcett

Gillian will be driving CIPFA’s influence in the global government sector by ensuring that the institute provides the very best thought leadership guidance and support for public finance professionals in the UK and abroad to help them deliver excellent public financial management. 

She believes the Institute is uniquely placed to help central government and more widely governments and supreme audit institutions in other countries and jurisdictions to develop stronger financial management and auditing practices. There is so much more to be achieved around the world in improving public financial management and CIPFA is now well equipped to respond to the challenge.

Before joining CIPFA, Gillian held senior positions in the public sector, accountancy profession and third sector. Her experience of working at both global and national levels means that she has the essential know-how to lead the Governments Faculty strategy going forward.

Jane Payling, Head of Health and Integration

Jayne PaylingJane’s career to date has been spent working in NHS finance, starting with studying CIPFA as part of the East Anglian Regional NHS Finance Training scheme and most recently being director of finance for 10 years at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Jane joined the NHS in order to use skills and energy to help change the lives of real people, rather than pushing paper around to generate profit. Jane likes the fact that the NHS provides a range of interesting and challenging roles, with a broad variety of different opportunities for finance professional from expert technical functions, through finance business partnering to undertaking service redesign.

Jane believes it is a privilege to work with cutting-edge clinicians influencing decisions which will impact positively on patients. She believes that continuing efficiency challenges for health and social care means that the finance function will become even more crucial for the survival and development of the service. Jane is excited to be in a position to help influence this through expanding CIPFA’s support to the health sector.

Don Peebles, Head of CIPFA Devolved Government

Don PeeblesDon is a qualified CIPFA accountant and is based at the Institute’s Scottish HQ in Edinburgh.

Don’s background is local authority finance, having trained initially at a Scottish local authority. He also worked for Audit Scotland prior to joining CIPFA in 2002 as the policy and technical officer becoming policy and technical manager in 2004.  Don was appointed head of CIPFA Scotland in November 2013.

In April 2014 Don also became CIPFA’s head of devolved government and in April 2015 assumed further responsibility for financial management in CIPFA.

In 2014, Don led on the Institute’s work on the Scottish referendum and that same year was appointed as the expert budget adviser to the Welsh Assembly’s Finance Committee for the 2015/16 budget process. Don has previously led CIPFA’s work on local taxation in Scotland and was appointed as a member of the Commission on Local Tax Reform which reported in December 2015.

As head of devolved government, Don has responsibility for delivering CIPFA’s business plan in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland. This includes development of the thought leadership programme, CIPFA’s training offering and member liaison.

Outside of work Don is happily married with two grown-up sons and at weekends will usually be on the golf course or can be seen ‘walking down the Halbeath Road’. 

Alison Scott, Head of Standards and Financial Reporting

Alison ScottAlison started her career in local government before moving to CIPFA. As a former chief finance officer, Alison brings a practitioner’s perspective to the role of accounting and professional standards in promoting effective public financial management.

Alison has responsibility for the development of professional and accounting standards and financial reporting. In this role she provides support for the Local Authority Accounting Code, the Charities SORP and the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards. She is a member of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board, a technical adviser on the Federation of European Accountants’ Public Sector Group and a former member of the Financial Reporting Council’s Committee on Accounting for Public benefit Entities.

Alison believes that strong public financial management is key to the delivery of effective public services both within the UK and internationally. Financial Reporting has an important role in delivering accountability for public and donor funds and giving citizens confidence that public money is spent wisely.

Alison joined CIPFA in November 2006 as a technical manager after nearly 16 years working as a practitioner. She held a number of positions public finance ranging from graduate trainee to Chief Finance Officer. During this time she has worked on a wide variety of projects including major reorganisations, outsourcing projects and PFI schemes.

Within CIPFA, Alison was previously a technical manager with responsibility for the development of the prudential code, capital finance and treasury management. She now holds the role of Head of Standards and Financial Reporting with responsibility for the development of professional and accounting standards and financial reporting. In this role she provides support for the Local Authority Accounting Code, the Charities SORP and the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

Alison is a member of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board. a technical adviser on the Federation of European Accountants’ Public Sector Group and a former member of the Financial Reporting Council’s Committee on Accounting for Public Benefit Entities. 

Rachael Tiffen, Head of Counter Fraud Centre and Governance

Rachael TiffenRachael heads up the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre, the UK’s first centre of excellence that provides tools, support, training and thought leadership for counter fraud professionals across the public services. Rachael has over 20 years’ experience in local government, heading up audit and fraud investigations teams at Islington, Lambeth, Waltham Forest and Enfield. She has been chair of the London Counter Fraud Partnership since 2005 and was instrumental in founding the CIPFA Better Governance Forum. She was appointed chair of the CIPFA Fraud Advisory Panel in 2007 and as part of this group she co-wrote the three CIPFA Red Books, Managing the Risk of Fraud. Rachael worked at the National Fraud Authority 2010-2013 as Head of Public Sector Fraud and was responsible for drafting and leading on Fighting Fraud Locally – the local government counter fraud strategy. During 2013-2014, Rachael managed the Ministry of Defence’s Counter Fraud Service.