News story

New Director General of public spending and finance appointed

The new role at the Treasury merges the role of Head of public spending with Head of the government finance profession for the first time.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Julian Kelly has been appointed as the new Director General of public spending and finance in the Treasury, the Chancellor and Chief Secretary have announced.

The new role, created following the Review of Financial Management in government, merges the role of Head of public spending with Head of the government finance profession for the first time.

Julian Kelly, a qualified accountant, will be promoted from his current role as Director of public spending in HM Treasury, where he led the work on the Spending Round 2013.

He has previously worked in the private sector at HSBC and in a number of senior roles in the public sector, including as Finance Director in HM Treasury and the Border Agency.

The creation of this new role was a recommendation of the the Financial Management Review, launched at Spending Round 2013, led by Sharon White, second Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, and Richard Douglas, Head of the government finance profession, with Lord Sainsbury the expert external adviser. It was published in December 2013.

One of the report’s key recommendations was to combine the existing role of Head of the government finance profession with that of the Treasury’s Director General of public spending, which was accepted by the government.

This new role, reporting to Sharon White, will also have a formal management relationship with all the heads of finance across departments.

These changes will strengthen financial leadership across government and the new post will also be able to drive reforms to financial management.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

Controlling the public finances and getting the deficit down is a key part of the government’s long term economic plan.

Julian Kelly was the outstanding candidate and will play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the next spending review, and leading the government finance function through its implementation.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

Julian Kelly is an excellent appointment to this critical new role.

Bringing together the spending and finance functions of government into one role will raise our game on public spending control, a key element to building a stronger economy and fairer society.

Lord Sainsbury added:

I am delighted that Julian Kelly has been appointed as the new Director General for spending and finance. He has the knowledge and experience of Whitehall to do an excellent job.

Lord Carter, a member of the Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Board, also added:

Julian has a wide range of relevant experience gained by working both operationally and on policy in a range of government departments and in the private sector.

This will enable him to fulfil his new role using his customary skill, insight and intelligence to wider national benefit.

Published 13 May 2014