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CIPFA, and its Government's Board, hold several events a year for those working in central government. View the presentations and related articles and material from our conferences.

CIPFA Central Government Conference, 28 November, 2019

Our 2019 annual summit brought together finance leaders, senior civil servants and decision-makers across central government finance. With a focus on ‘public finance, people and performance’, the summit addressed the contemporary role of an aspirational and progressive government finance professional and considered some of the key opportunities and challenges of the day. The event was run in association with the Government Finance Function and Government Finance Academy.

Speaker slides and a summary of the day’s proceedings are available below.

Access key documents and presentations from the day:

CIPFA Central Government Summit 2019 Programme 

Speaker profiles

Government Performance: Are we achieving better outcomes? - Hannah White, Deputy Director, Institute for Government 

The Outlook for Public Finance - Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies 

Everyday Inclusion: Celebrate and Inspire - Rachel McLean, Director General Finance, MHCLG 

Diversity and inclusion: Where are we now? - Dr Louise Ashley, Royal Holloway, University of London 

Improving government's planning and spending framework: one year on - Max Tse, Executive Leader, National Audit Office 

CIPFA Central Government Conference, 28 November, 2019 

The title of our 2019 summit ‘Public Finance, People and Performance’ and the agenda delivered exactly that, with a full room and a day of expert perspectives and lively debate.

We had insight on performance from Hannah White of the Institute for Government followed by an assessment of the challenges for public finance from Carl Emmerson at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.  

The ‘people’ elements of the programme were delivered through a joint session on diversity and inclusion from Dr Louise Ashley, Royal Holloway, University of London and Rachel McLean, Director General Finance, MHCLG. Planning also featured with the NAO sharing its conclusions and findings to support continued development of departmental spending plans. 

One highlight of the day was the afternoon’s panel session on future challenges for the finance profession.  

From a CIPFA perspective it was a proud moment to have the senior finance leaders in government on the panel, who are also members of the Institute, giving their time to share their thoughts. Our four panellists were was Mike Driver, Head of the Government Finance Function, Gareth Davies, C&AG of the NAO, Elizabeth Honer, CEO or the GIAA and Sir John Thompson, CEO of the FRC.  

A key takeaway from the day was the strong sense that the role of finance in the public sector is perhaps one of the most varied and potentially satisfying roles an accountant can have. Both panellists and delegates agreeing not just on the challenges of working in the profession – but also of the great personal sense of satisfaction to be had from a career in public service. The professional opportunities are there we heard – and the common ambition for all is to contribute towards better outcomes from services that touch all locations and all citizens across the country.  

Much discussion was focused on the goal for all government finance functions to be at the heart of decision-making and not only ‘keeping the score’. 

However, in a light-hearted, concluding moment in true score-keeper style, the panel could not let it go without having some bragging rights, hence the pecking order became ‘I’m the auditor’, ‘Well I’m the auditor of the auditor’, and ‘I’m the auditor of the auditor’s auditor!’. And that was enough for most of us! 

Our sincere thanks to all of our speakers on the day, and to our delegates for their contributions and engagement throughout the day.