2015 archive

CIPFA's blogs and opinion pieces in 2015

Response to spending review

The CIPFA Local Government's Policy panel offer it's narrative of the key national policy messages they saw emerging from the 25 November 2015 Spending Review.

CIPFA Local Government's Policy Panel
11 December 2015


Value creating stories: evaluating and sharing success and failure

Sharing stories of success and failure can help public finance managers to develop skills and identify potential to add value to their work.

Mira Dobovisek, Director, Centre of Excellence in Finance
2 December 2015


A new narrative for government and the public sector

The complex and bleak narrative of austerity is holding back the progress of the government and public sector.

Public Sector Executive by Hamza Yusuf
30 November 2015


Money Matters 

In the wake of the spending review, Rob Whiteman argues that the government should focus on improving the capability and accountability of financial management, rather than focusing on the oversimplified narrative of spending and deficit.

Municipal Journal by Rob Whiteman
10 November 2015


The secrecy surrounding right to buy and pension pooling sets a worrying precedent

The government sidestepped public scrutiny in the extension of the right to buy deal. Cameron must embrace transparency in order to regain public trust in politics, argues Rob Whiteman. 

Local Government Chronicle by Rob Whiteman
19 October 2015


Calculating a positive future: using big data to manage demand and make savings

The private sector technique of predictive risk modelling has the potential to help the public sector manage demand more effectively and improve the targeting of scarce resources.  

Public Finance by Hamza Yusuf
11 September 2015


Why the Spending Review should herald a new approach to our public finances

The forthcoming Spending Review must focus on outcomes and delivery, and also be the springboard for an honest debate about the very nature of our public sector, argues CIPFA's Rob Whiteman.

Civil Service World by Rob Whiteman
03 September 2015


Fixing the foundations

The fundamentals of the UK’s public finances have been moving in the wrong direction for a long time. While some have recognised this shift, very few public policy-makers seem to be able to tackle the core challenges we face.

Municipal Journal by Rob Whiteman
12 August 2015


The centre needs to let go and stop micro-managing

The UK has an enviable record for government financial reporting.  Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) conform to independent international standards so that we don’t just report cash in and payments out every year, but longer-term assets and liabilities as well so that we have a truer accruals accounting picture of our national finances and net worth.  

Civil Service World by Rob Whiteman
05 August 2015


CFOs should be less tolerant of overspending in the NHS

Increased investment is not the only route to improved performance, a fact that sometimes seems lost within the NHS.

Public Finance by Rob Whiteman
29 July 2015


Forging a lasting legacy for Generation Y and beyond

All governments come and go and Mr Osborne knows that the current administration has a set time to reshape and refashion our social and fiscal landscape to its liking before the electorate looks elsewhere. I think this means four things for public services.

MJ by Rob Whiteman
24 July 2015


Councils should resist calls to drive down reserves

As George Osborne is fond of telling us, the government has ‘a long-term economic plan’. Local government also plans for the long term which is why councils hold reserves to invest for the future or to enable them to respond to unexpected events or emerging needs.

LGC by Rob Whiteman
July 2015


Bringing finance to the fore

Few understand the complexities of financial management in government better than Chair of CIPFA International, Ian Ball. He tells Adrian Brown about delivering radical reform in his native New Zealand and the enduring importance of new international public-sector accounting standards.

Centre for Public Impact
May 2015


No more political football

Public services need a style of leadership that focuses on spending money well and not the tactical avoidance of savings.

Public Finance
May 2015 by Rob Whiteman


EPSAS: a standards odyssey

The journey to improved government financial reporting across Europe is slow, but progress is being made in the corridors of power in Brussels.

Public Finance International 
April 2015 by Alison Scott


The irony of Greek debt and German demands 

Rob Whiteman, chief executive CIPFA, argues that German demands on Greece’s finances are somewhat insincere.

Global Government Forum
06 April 2015 by Rob Whiteman


Climate for bolder restructuring

During this period of austerity, the government has shown little appetite for radical ideas that seek to adapt and enable local authorities to survive increasing pressures.

The MJ
17 February 2015 by Rob Whiteman


We need a clear plan for the financing and structure of local government

Proposals for reconfiguring the structure of local government abound, but there seems to be precious little agreement on what form and size that should take, still less on the right balance to be struck between organisational scale – hence efficiency – and democratic accountability.

The MJ
09 February, 2015 by Rob Whiteman


Further cuts, alongside political posturing, mean a difficult year ahead

By any standard, 2015 is likely to be a watershed year for UK public managers. There are a number of hazards that can’t be easily avoided. A lack of money, coupled with the likely behaviour of politicians in the runup to an election, threatens to seriously undermine public managers’ roles and to jeopardise their reputation.

The Guardian
06 January 2015 by Rob Whiteman 


The Greek election: a travesty based on a lie

Syriza’s win in the Greek elections has focused global attention on the country’s problematic public finances. But one of the myths about Greece is that is has a debt problem at all.

Public Finance International
26 January 2015 by Ian Ball