In June 2013, the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary announced that the Treasury would lead a review on how to strengthen financial management in government, alongside the results of the Spending Round setting budgets for 2015-16. The review consulted widely with UK and overseas finance officials, private sector experts, and finance institutes. Baron Sainsbury of Turville acted as expert external adviser to the review.
The review considers leadership across the government finance function, the flow of management information and the framework of spending controls operated by the centre of government.
The review recommends strengthening financial leadership within government by creating a new role – director general for spending and finance, which will combine the leadership of the government’s finance function with overall responsibilities for public spending; and to strengthen the relationship between the new role and the Whitehall finance community. The review recommends making an investment to better understand the costs of activities, and ensure this information is used to better inform decision making.
The review sets out that a framework will be developed over the medium term, within which departments can take greater responsibility for some areas of expenditure that are currently controlled by the centre. Finally, the review recommends consolidating internal audit services over the medium term providing a single, integrated internal audit service, which will be an independent agency to the Treasury.