The first ever ICAEW public sector conference will be a virtual event focussing on the key issue of sustainability. Following COP26, it will be top of the agenda.
As the public sector is a major contributor to the British economy, it has a key role to play in achieving the UK Government’s statutory ambition of making the country carbon neutral by 2050. The conference is designed to build on the recent NAO report on local government and net zero in England. This flagged serious weaknesses in the Government’s approach to working with local authorities on decarbonisation due to a lack of clarity over roles, piecemeal funding, and diverse accountabilities. The conference will focus on finding solutions to these sorts of issues.
Hear from Gareth Davies, Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office, on the benefits of joining the conference. View the video here.
The importance of public sector in achieving net zero means we want to make this conference as accessible to all working in the public sector, whether ICAEW members or otherwise.
Should you experience any difficulties booking onto the event, please go to our events support page - how to book.
The opinions expressed by external guest speakers in interviews or other publications included on this website are, by their nature, those of the speaker. They are not necessarily fully endorsed by the ICAEW or purport to reflect the official policies and views of the ICAEW or its members.
Opening remarksICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza will open the conference by explaining the importance of the public sector and net zero to ICAEW.
Keynote: The role of public sector financial reporting and audit in achieving net zeroFor the opening keynote address, ICAEW is delighted to welcome Adrian Crompton, the Auditor General for Wales and head of the Wales Audit Office. Adrian will talk about his unique statutory duty to report on how Welsh government bodies have acted in accordance with the ‘sustainable development principle’ when setting and taking steps to meet ‘well-being objectives’ and his commitment that Audit Wales will use its role to “scrutinise and inspire improvement in climate change action across the Welsh public sector”. He will also talk and answer questions on how public sector reporting and audit more generally can support the public sector achieve the government’s ambitious target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Panel discussion: Better public sector sustainability reporting post COP26As the IFRS foundation plans to announce plans to establish the International Sustainability Standards Board and the Financial Conduct Authority has made the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFDs) mandatory for premium listed companies, there will be a need for public sector bodies to improve their sustainability reporting. Finance leaders from central government, local government and a major accountancy firm will discuss what that reporting should look like and answer your questions. Chaired by Alison Ring, Director of Public Sector and Tax at ICAEW, panellists will include Veronica Poole, Deloitte Global IFRS leader, Conrad Hall, Chair of CIPFA / LASAAC Board and Director of Finance and Resources at Newham Borough Council and Tom Taylor, Chief Financial Officer at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
Group discussion: what can I do to support the path to net zero?
These interactive sessions will provide a chance to network with peers in the sector, share ideas and obtain practical tips over what you can do in your role to support the path to net zero. An expert in each field will lead a facilitated discussion specific to the various professions working in or with public sector finance teams. Sessions include: Richard Spencer, Sustainability Director at ICAEW will lead a discussion on the role finance students can play in supporting net zeroAlan Finch, Principal Advisor for Finance at the Local Government Association will lead a discussion on how audit committee members and councillors can scrutinise how effectively their local authority is decarbonisingPete Leadbetter, Head of Accounting at Network Rail will lead a discussion about the role government finance teams can play in achieving net zeroEmma Jones from Ashden Charity will lead a discussion on how green procurement and community wealth building can play in achieving their net zero targets. Alison Snellen and Nicola Cotter, from Ernst & Young will discuss how do you audit and assure progress to net zero.Please select which session you would like to join when you book.
Panel discussion: How can central government support local government in achieving net zero?A recent National Audit Office report 'Local government and net zero' highlighted weaknesses in the government’s approach to working with local authorities on decarbonisation. This panel discussion brings together one of the authors of that study as well as experts from different perspectives to address how central government can better support local government in the path to net zero. Each panellist will give a short talk summarising their views on the questions before there will be an opportunity for audience questions. Chaired by Henning Diederichs, ICAEW’s Manager for Public Sector Financial Reporting, this panel will include Jo Wheeler, Senior Sustainability Adviser at UK Green Building Council, Cara Jenkinson, Cities Manager at Ashden Climate Solutions, Katy Losse, the Manager for Environmental Studies at the National Audit Office, and Kate Hand, Head of Climate Change at London Councils.
Keynote: Why public sector bodies must take the lead on the path to net zero?Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, will deliver the closing keynote address. He will provide a rallying call of why public sector bodies must take the lead in the path to net zero and inspire attendees to put into practice the practical tips that they have learnt throughout the day.
Alison Ring, Director for Public Sector and Tax, ICAEW
*Please note the programme maybe subject to change.
Adrian Crompton, Auditor General for WalesAs head of the Wales Audit Office, Adrian oversees the annual audit of some £20 billion of taxpayers’ money and is appointed on an eight-year term. Most of Adrian’s career has been spent supporting parliamentary democracy at a Welsh, UK and international level. Prior to his current appointment, he held various senior roles within the National Assembly for Wales and, before then, in the House of Commons.
Henning Diederichs,Manager, Public Sector Financial Reporting, ICAEWHenning worked in financial reporting roles in Barclays and the Ministry of Finance prior to joining ICAEW in 2015. In recent years Henning has focused on public sector financial reporting standards and is the technical advisor to the UK member on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB).
Alan Finch, Principal Advisor, Local Government AssociationAlan is Principal Adviser responsible for finance improvement programmes at the Local Government Association. He has worked in local government since 1981, a period of great change. His last council role was as finance director at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. He has worked at the LGA since 2013 in a roles relating to policy, relationship management and support for councils in productivity, governance and finance.
Conrad Hall, Corporate Director of Resources, London Borough of NewhamConrad has 20 years’ senior financial management experience in London local authorities, the last ten of which have been in chief finance officer roles. He’s a former winner of the Accountancy Age UK Accountant of the Year award, for his work in transforming Lambeth Council. He also chairs the CIPFA/LASAAC board, which is responsible for financial reporting and accounting standards for UK local government.
Kate Hand, Head of Climate Change, London Councils Kate is Head of Climate Change at London Councils, a cross-party organisation working on behalf of London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London. She leads the organisation’s work on climate policy, the seven collaborative borough programmes on climate, and key external relationships in this space. Previously, she spent a decade working in environmental policy, including at RSPB, Wildlife and Countryside Link and the Community Development Foundation.Michael Izza, Chief Executive, ICAEWAppointed Chief Executive in 2006, Michael's leadership has seen ICAEW embrace a vision of 'a World of Strong Economies', transforming itself into a professional accountancy body with a truly global identity and reach. He regularly meets ministers, policymakers and regulators around the world, and is a frequent media commentator on economic and business issues.
Cara Jenkinson, Cities Manager, AshdenCara is Cities Manager at Ashden, which has been awarding pioneers in climate change action in the UK and developing world since 2001. She manages the alumni network of 90 UK-based Ashden Award winners across sustainable buildings, transport and energy, helping them to scale up their work, and to embed their approach into policy and practice. Cara is co-author of Ashden’s toolkit for local authorities: co-benefits of climate action, runs a local authority learning network on housing retrofit in the South West, and is Ashden's representative on the Blueprint Coalition, which is calling for a locally-based green recovery. She also leads on Ashden's UK Green Skills Award. She has an MSc in the Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment from UCL and is a director of a successful community energy organisation in North London.Tony Juniper CBE, Chair, Natural EnglandTony is the Chair of the official nature conservation agency Natural England. Previously he was the Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK and President of the Wildlife Trusts. He was the Special Advisor for The Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit and Executive Director at Friends of the Earth.Veronica Poole, Senior Accounting Technical Partner, DeloitteVeronica Poole is a Senior Accounting Technical Partner at Deloitte. She is the DTTL Global IFRS Leader and UK National Head of Accounting and Corporate Reporting. In addition, she is a member of both the DTTL Global and UK Audit Quality Boards. Veronica is a member of the UK FRC Corporate Reporting Council, HM Treasury Financial Reporting Advisory Board (FRAB) and the Hundred Group of UK Finance Directors Financial Reporting Committee.Pete Leadbetter, Head of Accounting, Network RailPete is Head of Accounting at Network Rail looking after statutory accounting, consolidating Network Rail into the Department for Transport, technical accounting and technical training. Pete trained in audit in Robson Rhodes/Grant Thornton before spending 7 years in their technical team. Pete also worked at Connells Estate Agent for 2 years looking after all financial reporting across the group.Katy Losse, Manager for Environmental Studies, National Audit OfficeKaty recently led a value-for-money study examining how central government and local authorities are collaborating on net zero, which was published in July 2021. Over the course of a 16-year career at the NAO, Katy worked on a wide range of value for money reports, returning in recent years to focus on work related to government's approach to its climate and wider environmental goals.Alison Ring, Director for Public Sector and Tax, ICAEWAlison joined ICAEW in 2019 and leads ICAEW’s policy and technical work examining the public sector. After completing a law degree and qualifying with a medium-sized accountancy firm, she worked in practice for several years before joining HMRC in 1994. She spent 25 years there and ended her career as the Commissioners’ Advisory Accountant.Oliver Simms, Manager, Public Sector Audit & Assurance, ICAEWBefore joining ICAEW, Oliver worked at the National Audit Office, where he held a variety of audit lead and manager roles of government bodies over six years, including the Department for International Trade and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He is passionate about wildlife and the environment and has volunteered for several conservation charities.Richard Spencer, Director of Technical Thought Leadership and Head of Sustainability, ICAEWRichard joined ICAEW in 2005 to set up the sustainability practice within the technical strategy department. During this time Richard has led on the ICAEW’s thought leadership and engagement programme in sustainability.
Tom Taylor,Chief Financial Officer, BEISPrior to joining BEIS, Tom held finance director positions in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Office of Rail and Road. Tom has been a civil servant since 1994, joining the Department of Social Security initially as an economist and then policy adviser. He worked as an academic researcher before joining the Civil Service.
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