CIPFA Central Government Conference


Event summary

Playing the long game – preventing a public finance crisis

Since 2010 the public services we all access have had to adjust to a prolonged period of spending reductions. This has been part of a fiscal policy directed towards reducing government spending deficits and ultimately reducing government debt. The problem is that in 2010 there may have been room to reduce spending and deliver the same level of services for less cost. As the easy wins have gone, it arguably becomes progressively harder to find further efficiencies without either a change in the way services are delivered or investment in new and more efficient ways to deliver services, or both.


27 November 2018
Starts: 13:00
Ends: 19:00


TBA London
Greater London

Standard price

£0.00 excl VAT

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About this event

Finance professionals have a key role in supporting improvements to planning and decision making in Government.  The Finance Profession needs to lead the way in working collaboratively and developing and sharing expertise and skills in support of this across government.  All of which needs to be underpinned by shared and common principles, systems and processes.

Most people recognise that we cannot simply carry on reacting to pressures of demand on our services, we need to think longer-term, more strategically and consider how to better manage the causes of demand.  This conference will also consider the financial case to move towards a preventative policy approach to achieve defined outcomes for citizens.  Can the case be made for prevention and is that better than cure? Or, are we heading to a crisis in public finances if we do not change track?

Who should attend?

All members of the Government Finance Function/Profession and those colleagues with a wider interest in understanding current public financial management challenges.

Benefits of attending

Delegates will gain a better understanding of the current long-term trends in the UK Governments finances.  They will also benefit from hearing first-hand examples of planning for outcomes in the critical sector of health spending, and what lessons have been learnt from that experience.  Doing things differently requires enhancing existing skills and capabilities. Delegates will also learn about the skills required to deal with the significant financial challenges ahead for public finance.  Finally, delegates will gain insights from listening to experts in their field discussion current challenges in an open panel session to finish.  This event also provides an opportunity to network with like-minded professional across government bodies.

CPD hours

Four and a half.


  • Accounting
  • / Central government
  • / Financial management

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Speaker - Mike Driver

Mike Driver

Mike is the Chief Financial Officer, Ministry of Justice, and Head of the Government Finance Function, HM Treasury. Mike was previously the Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Work and Pensions.

He joined the Department of Health and Social Security in 1979 straight from school, and spent his first six years in the civil service delivering services to customers. He then moved into regional management and thereafter fulfilled a range of policy and finance roles. He is a CIPFA qualified accountant, and has held a variety of FD roles, both corporate and operational. He was promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Department for Work and Pensions in 2012. From 1 April 2016, he was appointed the CFO for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and on 1 June July 2017 also became the Head of the Government Finance Function, HM Treasury, where he is driving the agenda to substantially strengthen the finance function’s critical role at the heart of government, ensuring better political and business outcomes.

In addition to his core roles, he has a range of additional responsibilities. Within the MoJ, he is the Accountant General of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and a Commissioner for the Reduction of the National Debt. Across government, he is a member of the Commercial Function Oversight Board and a non-executive board member of Shared Services Connect Limited. To drive forward the finance profession, he became a member of the CIPFA Council and Chair of the CIPFA Governance & Financial Management Panel.

Speaker - Mark Williams

Mark Williams

Mark Williams, CPFA FCA, specialises in the financial and commercial implications of complex projects.

Mark was an Audit/Advisory Partner with one of the 'big four' firms where he set up the firm’s Government Finance and Accounting team. In that role Mark worked extensively with HM Treasury. Prior to this Mark was External Audit Director on a portfolio of London teaching hospitals.

Now with PA Consulting, Mark focuses on property and infrastructure and new delivery models, including via a secondment at the Cabinet Office. Mark is involved in a wide range of property and infrastructure projects including for the Department for Health, Department for Transport, Ministry of Defence, Greater London Authority, and more.

Mark delivers a variety of training (L&D) to public servants: HMT’s Better Business Case; the World Bank’s CP3P; and IPA’s Project Leadership Programme.

Mark is a member of both the CIPFA Central Government Board and the CIPFA SE Council.