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Public sector. Public profile

ICAEW’s Ross Campbell met with IMS members working in the public sector recently, John Fanning reports back from one of the sessions.

Around 20 members from a range of public sector backgrounds attended a breakfast meeting with Ross Campbell, ICAEW’s Director of Public Services. This was part of a two-day visit to Scotland during which Ross not only connected with members at the aforementioned breakfast and the IMS Committee meeting, but also met a number of key opinion formers.

Food for thought at breakfast…

The breakfast event was kindly hosted by PwC at their Edinburgh office. David Brown, their Head of Government and Public Sector in Scotland, welcomed delegates by highlighting the challenges within the sector and the importance of finance professionals driving the debate – and encouraging those present to do just that.

Ross’s role

Ross began by explaining his role with ICAEW; as a member who’d previously spent time with the MoD and HM Treasury, he embraced his remit of raising the profile of the Institute and the contribution of its members. He was particularly pleased to champion the part that members play in the delivery of the effective finance management of public services. During his presentation he highlighted the four key areas that he is currently focusing on:

  • Helping the public better understand the challenges posed by current state of the public finances 
  • Encouraging improvements in published financial data to enhance transparency and accountability
  • Promoting better financial disciplines and ensuring ‘value for money’
  • Promoting the roles of Chartered Accountants in delivering these aims

An apolitical approach

Ross explained that while ICAEW works to inform debate on issues such as Brexit, measuring public sector liabilities, funding the deficit and national debt, and taxation strategy in the digital economy, they are strictly apolitical.

The session then broadened out into a round-table discussion on these and other issues, and how they impact on the Scottish public sector.

Find out more

Towards the end of the meeting discussion turned to how local members might be able to progress some of the opportunities identified. As the lead for public sector matters for IMS, I agreed to pull together a brief note on how this might best be done to be shared with attendees and other interested members. If you would like to receive a copy of this document, please let Fiona Ormiston, Regional Executive, ICAEW in Scotland know.

Get involved

We also plan to build upon this discussion and to have further sessions for members involved in the public sector – if you would like to get involved or wish to raise issues to be explored, please contact Fiona Ormiston or me.

More ways to connect

Members interested in the public sector might also wish to consider signing up to the Public Sector Special Interest Group. Membership is free and provides access to a wealth of helpful and insightful material for the member working in this sector.

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