DELIVERING PUBLIC SERVICES in the climate of austerity requires a CFO at the "heart of government", according to the head of the ICAEW.
Speaking to finance professionals at a training event in Brighton, ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza said accountants in the public sector should be "strategic leaders" on whom government must rely.
"I believe the finance director is essential for good business and good government. They should be part of the decision-making process because when leadership teams have financial skills to complement their policy and delivery skills – great things can happen," Izza said.
"This is why we are taking an interest in financial leadership in the public sector and why we think there should be a chief finance officer at the highest levels in government. We do this not because we think the private sector has all the answers but because – if we don't get our public finances sorted – it is not only politicians who will suffer, we all suffer, especially the most vulnerable in our society."
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