CIPFA Central Government Summit 2019: Public Finance, People and Performance

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Event summary

The need for an aspirational and progressive government finance profession has never been more relevant. Public Finance: People and Performance is a one-day conference in the heart of Westminster, providing an opportunity for senior public finance professionals working in central government to join with peers and colleagues, within and outside of the profession, to debate and explore ideas and models of working which will to continue to deliver the ideal now and in the future. This event is being sponsored by Government Finance Function. Please refer to our private Policy for Terms and Conditions.


28 November 2019
Starts: 10:45
Ends: 18:30


One Whitehall Place
1 Whitehall Place
[See map]

Standard price

£0.00 excl VAT

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About this event

With uncertainty and change as uncomfortable constants in the current political landscape, and a national fiscal position which reflects a challenging picture for the UK's public finances, finance professionals in government continue to provide a critical role in the protecting and managing the nation's finances.

With prolonged austerity, the challenging climate intensifies with public service bodies and public finance professionals facing difficult choices to ensure both financial resilience and sustained delivery of public service commitments. Innovation and advances in technology are increasingly offering opportunities now and in the future, promising significant impacts on our delivery of public services.

Within such a formidable national context, how can the government finance function respond, gear-up and ready itself to realise its ambition to be at the heart of decision making, driving the agenda and delivering better outcomes? This one-day conference, followed by an early evening drinks reception, provides a platform for senior government finance professionals and decision-makers to consider successes, challenges and the road ahead.

Who should attend?

The event will be of interest to finance professionals working in central government, in particular leaders and decision makers responsible for improving financial outcomes across central government.

How will you benefit from attending?

  • Hear from leading figures in government finance on the latest in government policy and developments across the government finance function
  • Be part of the conversation and gain a wider perspective with a unique, senior peer group from across government finance, government agencies and bodies
  • Use the opportunity to step outside of the frenetic day-to-day, come up for air and jointly address some of the key opportunities and challenges facing the profession.


  • Accounting
  • / Central government
  • / Efficiency
  • / Financial management
  • / Governance
  • / Leadership
  • / Professional development
  • / Risk management
  • / Value for money

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Speaker - Elizabeth Honer, Chief Executive Officer, Government Internal Audit Agency

Elizabeth Honer

Elizabeth Honer was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) on 1 October 2018.

Her career spans over 25 years in the public sector, including in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Houses of Parliament and the National Archives. She is a qualified accountant (CIPFA), with substantial expertise in strategy, governance and risk management at Board level. She seeks to maximise the contribution of internal audit in delivering better outcomes, drawing on her previous experience both as a manager and customer of the function. Elizabeth is a champion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, actively seeking different perspectives and regularly mentoring women and BAME emerging leaders. She has an MSc in Managing Organisational Performance (Cranfield School of Management) and has published research articles on performance improvement and managing reputational risk. When not at work, she enjoys cycling (many overseas tours with her husband), classical music (including choral singing) and cooking.

Speaker - Mike Driver, Chief Financial Officer and Head of the Government Finance Function

Mike Driver

Mike is the Chief Financial Officer, Ministry of Justice, and Head of the Government Finance Function, at 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 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 - Sir Jon Thompson, Chief Executive, Financial Reporting Council

Jon Thompson

Sir Jonathan (Jon) has recently taken up the post of CEO of the Financial Reporting Council, who regulate auditors, accountants and actuaries, and set the UK’s Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. Prior to his role at the FRC, Jon was the Chief Executive Officer of HMRC, the UK Tax Authority, collecting more than £625billion, employing more than 65,000 people and driving reform of the UK tax system. Before HMRC, Jon was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, jointly leading the £36bn organisation with the Chief of the Defence Staff. Jon had a lengthy finance career including being Director General, Finance at the MoD; Director General, Corporate Services at the Department for Education and Finance Director of Ofsted. Before the Civil Service Jon was Director of Corporate Services at North Somerset Council, worked at Ernst & Young and Eagle Star Insurance and spent his early career at Norfolk County Council. Jon is both CIPFA and CIMA qualified.

Speaker - Gareth Davies, Comptroller and Auditor General, National Audit Office

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies was appointed C&AG on 1 June 2019. Before his appointment, he was head of public services at Mazars, a global accountancy firm specialising in audit, tax and advisory services. Prior to this, he was managing director of the Audit Commission’s Audit Practice. He is also a fellow of CIPFA and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Speaker - Max Tse, Executive Leader with oversight of Digital Transformation, National Audit Office

Max Tse

Max leads the NAO’s value for money programme on digital transformation across government. He has experience of reviewing major government transformation programmes such as Universal Credit, cross-government initiatives such as GOV.UK Verify, and digital skills gaps. Before joining the NAO, Max worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. and has worked in the UK and overseas in a range of sectors including logistics, regulatory strategy, retail, climate finance, and health.

Speaker - Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Carl Emmerson

Carl is Deputy Director of the IFS and an editor of the annual IFS Green Budget. He is also a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee and the advisory panel of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Speaker - Dr Louise Ashley, Royal Holloway, University of London

Louise Ashley

Dr Louise Ashley lectures in organisation studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research explores diversity and inclusion in the professions and other elite employers, with a focus on barriers to access and career progression as a result of intersections between social class, gender and ethnicity.

Dr Ashley has published articles in leading academic journals and led research studies for the government's Social Mobility Commission. She has expertise in diversity consulting and in the evaluation of initiatives aimed at improving access to the labour market for people from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds. Her research has been widely covered in national and international media including but not limited to BBC Radio 4, New York Times, Sydney Herald, The Times, Financial Times and The Guardian. Dr Ashley sits on several advisory committees including for the charity UpReach and for the Social Mobility Index, an initiative operated by the Social Mobility Foundation and the Cabinet Office. She is a Research Fellow for the Bridge Group, a leading charity providing consultancy and thought leadership on diversity and equality in UK workplaces.

Speaker - Dan Worsley, Chief Operating Officer

Dan Worsley

Dan Worsley is CIPFA’s chief operating officer and leads CIPFA’s advisory and consultancy services, and the organisation’s internal business support services. Dan is a CIPFA-qualified accountant, and has over 15 years’ experience providing assurance and financial management services to the public sector, particularly central government. Dan trained at PwC, and after eight years with the firm, moved to join the Civil Service where he worked as a senior civil servant as a deputy finance director and a deputy change director. Prior to joining CIPFA, Dan returned to professional services with a continued focus on central government and international development. As a Chartered Public Finance Accountant with a professional track record spanning private and public sectors, Dan is a strong advocate for public services, sound public financial management and value for money.