Book News: February 23rd, 2011

Achieving the vision of managing taxpayers money wisely requires working through four essential principles. There must be transparency providing clear, consistent, comparable and accessible information and there must be accountability so that decision-makers and budget holders can be held to account. There is also a need for simplicity so that it is easy to understand what is going on. From this it follows that there must be coherence so that government activities are clear and logical.

Success in applying these principles will only come with effective leadership, driving performance from the top. There is also a need for a cost conscious culture so every decision is built on informed financial assessment. Professionalism is also important so that all public servants have financial awareness.

Good leadership is the cornerstone of good performance in any effective organisation. In the public sector it requires the accounting officer and the board to work in harmony. With appropriate support and challenge from non executive board members, they must steer their organisations to deliver capability in their fields and
manage risks.

Good management always includes good financial management. There is already a firm public sector standard that finance functions in departments should be led by qualified professionals.

The publication is available to download here.