chief executive officer of IFAC calls for governments to take financial management seriously – and receives CIPFA’s highest honour


Governments worldwide need to take their financial management responsibilities more seriously. This was the call from Ian Ball, Chief Executive Officer of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), speaking at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) first international conference which incorporated CIPFA’s annual World Class Performance Symposium held jointly with HM Treasury.

Speaking at the conference, Ian Ball said:

‘I have come to the view that internationally there is a systematic, pervasive, though possibly not deliberate, ignorance of the critical value of good accounting to governments.’

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and HM Treasury’s World Class Performance Symposium examined the developments and challenges of delivering good public financial management in a tough fiscal climate, and how transparency in reporting restores the confidence of stakeholders from donors to bond markets, and helps to ensure value for money.

Mr Ball went on to say:                       

‘The failure of governments to manage their finances has had dramatic consequences in the past, and could again in the future. Some loss of democratic control by the citizens is one of the most immediate consequences when poor financial management in the public sector leads to the need for a bailout, as happened in Greece and Ireland.’

Also at the conference, CIPFA President Jaki Meekings Davis presented Ian Ball with CIPFA’s highest and rarest award, the CIPFA President’s Medal, to commemorate his contribution to the public sector finance profession around the world.

Jaki Meekings Davis said:

‘This medal recognises Ian’s outstanding contribution to the accounting profession in the public sector, and in particular his work to champion excellent public financial management and high standards in governments around the world.’

All speakers’ presentations, including Ian Ball’s, can be watched again on the CIPFA website. Photos of Ian Ball receiving the award are also available.


Contact: Lindsay Machin / Chloe Forbes
CIPFA Press Office
T: 020 7543 /5645/5787
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Notes to Editors:

1. CIPFA’s first international conference, Trust and Accountability in Public Financial Management took place from 15 to 17 at the QEII Centre in Westminster. On 17 March 2011, CIPFA and HM Treasury brought together leading public finance professionals for the fourth World Class Performance Symposium. This formed the concluding part of CIPFA’s 1st international conference.

Speakers included:

  • David Walker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Comeback America Initiative (CAI). Former Comptroller General of the United States
  • Otaviano Canuto, Vice President and Head of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network, The World Bank
  • Paul Skidmore, Director of Strategy, the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI)

The conference was sponsored by Ernst & Young and supported by The World Bank, the International Federation of Accountants, the Department for International Development and HM Treasury.

2. About CIPFA

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialize in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.