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Jun 2016

National Audit Office - delivering value and accountability

The CIMA-NAO expert panel, formed in May 2013, brought together senior finance professionals from the UK government and the private sector to discuss how some of the challenges facing government could be addressed by the finance function and its closer integration with the rest of the business.

This report is the output from the four expert panel meetings, drawing upon the discussions in those meetings and short case studies of good practice provided by panel members. It is intended to support accounting officers, permanent secretaries and boards in addressing some of the challenges they face. Traditionally, finance in government has been seen as an administrative function, for managing transactions and external reporting. But in order to address the challenges of ongoing fiscal pressure combined with growing demand for public services and increasing citizen expectations, a stronger, more integrated government finance function is essential. Within the private sector, there is recognition of the role of finance in enabling and informing vital conversations about how resources can be better used to deliver outcomes. While parts of the public sector have begun to move in this direction, more can be done to spread the word. The report finds that finance can contribute to better understanding of two key areas; costs, and the translation of inputs to value. It identifies five key factors which will enable finance functions to meet these requirements.

The Financial Management Review, published in December 2013, set out a vision for the government’s finance function, highlighting the need for strengthened leadership, delegating greater responsibility to departments, and developing a better understanding of what we spend and what we get for it.

Sir Amyas Morse KCB Controller & Auditor General Charles Tilley, Chief Executive, CIMA

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National Audit Office - delivering value and accountability