Recognising excellence in public finance and accountancy
Bert’s drive and enthusiasm to improve financial reporting and technical understanding amongst local government over a long career was considered to be unparalleled in Scottish local government.
His legacy is the West of Scotland Finance Officers Forum which comprises senior accountancy staff from around 15 councils and meets formally on a quarterly basis. The group shares good practice around Scotland on emerging technical issues and works closely with CIPFA.
Bert is recognised as always being available to dispense his knowledge to others and has been a valued supporter of CIPFA’s technical work in Scotland.
Hamish left Edinburgh University with a Business and Accounting Degree in 2009, determined to work in the NHS, but with a lack of jobs available during the financial downturn, he commenced in a portering role at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
His drive and ambition to work in NHS finance reached the hospital director who introduced Hamish into the finance department. From then Hamish worked his way onwards and upwards, qualifying with CIPFA in 2013.
Hamish earned respect within the large finance department from his early days as an assistant accountant through to his current assistant finance manager role - there is a bright future ahead for him.
An online payments system provided opportunity to analyse and redesign financial arrangements and feed into the council’s transformational change programme. Extensive work undertaken identified a range of practices, all of which resulted in education professionals undertaking tasks which impacted on service delivery.
The new transactional service management model which emerged delivers education professionals with easily understood and up-to-date financial information. The impact is more informed decision making with less time away from core duties. Over a three year period savings of around £750K are estimated.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde completed its ten year Acute Services Strategy in June 2015 with the opening of the new £842m Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children. The hospital complex is the largest in Europe and required a significant management restructuring within the board to reflect the move from a sector based structure to a more geographical based structure.
For the Acute Finance Team, this represented a significant challenge around their £1.5bn budget. Within a three month period the team were required to undertake a complex and demanding project to design and then implement the transition from managing the construction process to a fully functioning financial management system. In summary, the project has been an overwhelming success.
Budget holders, management, the board and the Scottish Government were provided with robust and accurate financial information within six weeks of the start of the project, and all staff involved have reported a rich learning experience, with valuable lessons learned for future projects. In addition, the identified savings of £20.3m have been identified, tracked and reported as realised.