PROGRAMME

Please see below for the 2018 conference programme for an idea of the sessions and speakers. The programme for 2019 will be announced in January 2019.

Public finance professionals are facing rapid change across a number of fronts. Brexit will reshape the UK’s political and economic structures, while high-profile events such as the collapse of Carillion and the Grenfell tragedy have shaken public sector orthodoxies.

Meanwhile, technology is transforming how the finance sector works, with adoptions of machine learning, automation and artificial intelligence engines helping users to be more efficient and effective. New technology platforms are enabling analysis of demand to secure and prioritise resource allocations and investments.

Technology is reshaping how the finance sector works, in terms of both opportunities and risks, and the pace of change is only going to increase. Machine learning, automation and artificial intelligence engines are already being used to analyse financial data and trends and to take decisions about investments and prioritised resource allocation.

New technology platforms for audit, investment, peer-to-peer lending, and financial management are challenging the traditional big finance systems and ERP domination. All public service organisations are becoming ‘data driven’.

These new technologies and a focus on data will arguably replace many traditional accounting functions, putting financial controls in the hands of business leaders and automating pattern analysis and financial planning. But how are these trends affecting the public sector today? When and how will they impact, and what does it mean for current practices, skills and roles?


11 JULY

Registration

Time: 08:15 - 09:15

Welcome to CIPFA Annual Conference 2018


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President's welcome

Time: 09:15 - 09:30


speaker:

Sarah Howard

Partner, Public Sector, Grant Thornton & CIPFA President 2018-19

Sophie Medwell

President

CIPFA Student Network

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What prolonged Brexit negotiations mean for public spending and economic growth

Time: 09:30 - 10:30

The prolonged uncertainty of Brexit negotiations and the Government’s weakened majority in the Commons present two historic challenges for the UK’s economic recovery. The Chancellor’s commitment to contingency funding for Brexit leaves precious little wriggle room for public spending.

Economic growth is predicted to weaken further in 2018 and 2019. Higher inflation is limiting household purchasing power. The unemployment rate is at a record low, but doubts remain over the nature and security of the work for many. Meanwhile high consumer debt growth coupled with stagnant incomes, is a major financial stability risk. Austerity looks set to be with us for the long run, leading economist and commentators look at what this means for the public mood and public finances.


chair:

Andrew Rawnsley

Chief Political Commentator and Associate Editor

The Observer

speaker:

Gemma Tetlow

Chief Economist

Institute for Government

Tim Shipman

Political Editor

Sunday Times

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10:30-11:10 - Refreshment break in the exhibition hall

12:20-13:30 - Lunch in the exhibition hall

Lunchtime workshops

Time: 12:30 - 13:15

Alternative service delivery models

Alternative Service Delivery Models are now a recognised part of the public services landscape.   In this informative and interactive session, we’ll be taking a looking at the current landscape of Alternative Service Delivery Models across the country and ask the question what’s working and where there’s opportunities for further improvement.   This session will provide practical insights to apply back into your own organisation.

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Digital solutions for managing fraud and risk

Digital platforms and advanced data analytics are offering new solutions for government bodies in fighting fraud and identifying error. A London Counter Fraud Hub case study.

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Workshops

Time: 13:30 - 14:30

The ethical and social impact of commercialisation

Commercialisation is everywhere and is an important and pressing issue for many local authorities.

We will discuss what commercialisation  actually is and how organisations need to be considering their risk and government frameworks to ensure they encompass the new world of risk they are becoming exposed to, including the ethical and social challenges, opportunities and threats it brings.

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The opportunities challenges and myths of Blockchain

How can digital platforms like Blockchain or even cryptocurrencies improve the management of public finance and secure delivery of welfare, can we expect greater accountability, more security in the delivery of digital entitlements, how can it apply to the business of government?

    Chair:

    Mal Singh

    Deputy Director Finance

    Department for Work Pensions

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Principles for the Role of the 151 Officer and Local Economic Partnerships ( LEP )

At this conference workshop, we will launch a new set of principles for s151 officers who represent the accountable body for Local Economic Partnerships (LEP). These principles support the s151 officer during their Local Assurance Framework conversations with the LEP Chair and LEP Chief Executive. Responding to the Mary Ney Review the principles bring clarity on the expectations of the role of the s151 officer.

The principles are the sectors response to the recommendations into LEP governance and transparency. Working closely with MHCLG, CIPFA have developed this new guidance and are delighted to share with you the key messages and insights.

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Relational Partnering

Relational Partnering’ and can be used by councils to support a range of commercial, regeneration and socio-economic outcomes.

Property strategy reviews can often be a catalyst for change. The commercialisation agenda being pursued by many authorities sits neatly alongside taking a pro-active approach to property assets. Through the creation of a partnership with PSP, councils have access to the Relational Partnering model which is a way of creating additional value and looks to insource support from the council, to generate a wide range of benefits for the community. A broad range of outcomes can be achieved, including an increasing focus on housing delivery.

The low-risk, value added approach is the opposite to most models promoted by the private sector and offers huge flexibility and potential breadth of outcomes.

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Driving Digital Transformation through adoption of an integrated Cloud-ERP Solution

The London Borough of Lambeth, which serves a young demographic population of approximately 320,000, has recently embarked on a significant transformation programme across all its service areas to ensure that the ‘Lambeth Vision of the Future’ maximises the skills of an agile, flexible and digitally enabled workforce. As part of this programme, Lambeth has recently gone live on an integrated Oracle cloud-based solution to meet its future finance, procurement, HR and Payroll requirements in an ambitious 12-month timescale. The workshop will emphasise how the collaboration between the council, its technology provider (Oracle), the implementation partner (Evosys) and its change management partner (Socitm Advisory) made this possible.

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CSN President’s welcome

Time: 13:30 - 13:40


speaker:

Chris Roberts

Project Accountant (NDR Pool) & CIPFA CSN President 2017-18

City London Corporation

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Senior managers' stories

Time: 13:40 - 14:30


CIPFA President, Sarah Howard, and Chief Executive, Rob Whiteman, join a panel of senior managers from across the public and private sectors to talk about where they are now, how they got there, and what they’d do differently if they were qualifying today.

chair:

Rob Whiteman

Chief Executive

CIPFA

speaker:

Sarah Howard

Partner, Public Sector, Grant Thornton & CIPFA President 2018-19

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14:30-15:10 - Refreshment break in the exhibition hall

Apprenticeships Drop-In

Time: 14:40 - 14:55

Apprenticeships Drop-In

Explore how CIPFA can help you maximise the opportunities that the Apprenticeship Levy brings.

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Workshops

Time: 15:10 - 16:10

Talent and technology - how ready is the finance profession?

Following a major research exercise across all areas of government and public services, CIPFA and Eduserv’s report back on the readiness of the finance profession for the digital age.

Thesession will explore the digital preparedness of the sector and examine the functions, influence, processes, and future skills requirements of new technologies on public bodies, including artificial intelligence and data science.

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Pittsburgh: From Worst to First; Insolvency to Surplus; Lessons for UK Councils

By the end of 2000, Pittsburgh had lost half of it population and was a poster child for industrial decline.  The Government of Pittsburgh was nearly bankrupt, its credit rating downgraded to “junk” status and critical frontline staff laid-off.  Today, Pittsburgh is a solvent, high-tech hub, consistently declared to be one the best US cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Find out how this flourishing US city came back from the brink, how it used technology and a robust financial planning framework to turn the corner and how, in the light of increasing financial pressures, the lessons learned can be applied in the UK to help councils in financial distress recover.

    Speakers:

    Christian Wall

    Director

    PFM Advisors UK

    Kevin Acklin

    Peoples Natural Gas Company and Urban Redevelopment Authority

    President and Chief Legal Officer and Chairman

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Society of District Council Treasurers

This workshop, chaired by Jill Penn, President of the Society of District Council Treasures will look at current issues of particular concerns to District Councils including the review of the Business Rates Retention scheme and Fair Funding review and the importance of national and collaborative working.

Martin Ellender, will present the findings of Grant Thornton’s recent work to support district councils and their partners in delivering local collaboration, transformation and public sector reform.

Lisa Quinn, from Link Asset Services will discuss challenges in developing a Capital Strategy (as required by CIPFA Codes by 2019/20) and the opportunity this presents to improve delivery of strategic objectives with a dynamic and long term approach.

    Chair:

    Jill Penn

    President of the Society of District Council Treasurers

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Fair and Sustainable Funding for Local Government?

Big changes to council funding are afoot. 75% and maybe 100% business rates retention. Calls for further tax and spending devolution from the sector. The Fair Funding Review of councils’ needs and revenue-raising potential. And potentially major changes to social care funding. What might all this mean for councils? And what would a fair and sustainable funding model look like? Using the latest IFS research we will look at these issues and encourage you to join the debate.

    Chair:

    Duncan Whitfield

    Strategic Director of Finance and Governance

    London Borough of Southwark

    Speakers:

    David Phillips

    Associate Director

    Institute of Fiscal Studies

    Duncan Whitfield

    Strategic Director of Finance and Governance

    London Borough of Southwark

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What now for traditional audit in an automated world?

The session will look into the use of automation in finance and financial audit. During this workshop we will explore the use of automation in the NAO’s Value for Money reports and how finance teams use to data to assess value within government departments and wider public sector organisations. This session will provide useful insight into ensuring that maximum value is achieved through automation.

    Speakers:

    Max Tse

    Executive Leader

    National Audit Office

    Peter Smithson

    Director, Practice and Quality

    National Audit Office

    Paul Dossett

    Head of Public Sector Financial Reporting and Local Government

    Grant Thornton

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Fighting fraud: disciplines in discussion

Time: 15:10 - 16:10


CSN has gathered a number of senior and insightful speakers from a range of the disciplines involved in fighting fraud to tell us a little about each of their areas, discuss how they fit together, and answer your questions.

speaker:

Barry Dean

Grant Thornton

Richard Maitland

Director

KPMG

Anne Cairns

Manager

Audit Scotland

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In search of a sustainable state – one for the 'too difficult box'?

Time: 16:20 - 17:20

Notwithstanding the impact of Brexit, as UK public spending continues to fall as a proportion of GDP relative to other advanced economies, the country’s predicted growth has declined from 2.5% to 1.5%. If this is the new long-term trend, it will have major implications for public spending. Recent history indicates that it is reasonable to assume no government would be willing to have a deficit much more than 2-3% of GDP. The options for government seem limited to three unpalatable choices: a significant, longterm commitment to raise taxation possibly by hypothecating taxes e.g. for NHS; changing the state’s priorities by doing less which would require further cuts to significant services and covenants such as the triple lock on pensions and reducing the free at point-of-use NHS to its ‘core’; and extending copayments for services as it has for universities, railways and social housing with a commensurate  expansion of means testing.

 


chair:

Andrew Rawnsley

Chief Political Commentator and Associate Editor

The Observer

speaker:

Rt Hon Charles Clarke

Former Home Secretary, currently Research Fellow,

King's College London Policy Institute, author of The 'Too Difficult' Box: The Big Issues Politicians Can't Crack

Dr Emily Andrews

Associate Director

Institute for Government

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Prize winners champagne reception

Time: 16:20 - 17:20


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Close of day 1

Time: 17:20 - 17:20


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12 JULY

Breakfast Workshops

Time: 08:30 - 09:15

Interactive workshop: how prepared are you for Brexit?

This interactive workshop will explore what the most pressing priorities are for public services when it comes to Brexit and how the sector ought to respond to them.

Supporting CIPFA’s extensive and new research across the sector, there will be presentations from the New Local Government Network, on their work to understand how prepared public service leaders are for Brexit.

The workshop will also offer the opportunity for you to share your views on the risks and opportunities of Brexit and where you think the Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services ought to be focusing their attentions.

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Ethics live!

What are my ethical responsibilities?  is there any support from CIPFA? These are only two of the myriad questions that CIPFA receives from its members on ethical issues.

In a year when a new ethical code will drive change CIPFA’s to statement of professional practice, join CIPFA’s ethics experts for breakfast where delegates will hear a lively session which will make the ethical responsibilities of members ‘come alive’ in a practical manner.

This session will deliver a clear message to members of what their ethical responsibilities are and how.

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President's Welcome

Time: 09:30 - 09:35

 

 


speaker:

Sarah Howard

Partner, Public Sector, Grant Thornton & CIPFA President 2018-19

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Mapping the Digital State

Time: 09:35 - 10:35

The issue of public sector reform has taken something of a backseat since the financial crash and start of austerity. There needs to be a recognition that technology can deliver that reform and offer a compelling vision for the future. Consent and reassurance will be required as AI, algorithms and ethical challenges raise often troubling concerns for the public.

Digital technologies present opportunities to accelerate devolution, empower individual citizens and cut through bureaucracy. But the pace of change required is inconceivable without strong public private partnerships and government will have to create the right conditions to enable this vision.

Finance leaders are being forced to reimagine their role in direct response to digital disruption, increasing volumes of data, ongoing regulatory change and stakeholder scrutiny. How can CFOs use this moment to design the future state, how does the finance function need to respond and define its future role in a digital world. Finance professionals have a growing opportunity to play a significant leadership role in strategic business planning and in wider resource management arising from digital change.


chair:

Anita Anand

News and Politics Broadcaster

speaker:

Matthew Taylor

Chief Executive

RSA

Joanna Davinson

Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer

Home Office

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10:35-11:05 - Refreshment break in the exhibition hall

Ministerial address: Rishi Sunak MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Time: 11:05 - 11:35


chair:

Anita Anand

News and Politics Broadcaster

speaker:

Rishi Sunak MP

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Local Government

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CIMA FINANCE LEADERS' PRESENT: Finance 2025 - digitized and disrupted

Time: 11:35 - 12:15

Finance functions now face seismic changes not only from robotics and Augmented Intelligence, but also from dramatic changes in the shape of finance in how finance activity is delivered through offshore delivery centres and in on-shore finance organisations. The rate of change is accelerating, and finance in 2025 will look dramatically different from today, particularly in the public sector.

What do finance leaders need to consider to address these changes?


chair:

Anita Anand

News and Politics Broadcaster

speaker:

Noel Cullen FCMA

Associate Partner, Cognitive Finance Transformation

IBM Global Business Services

Rupert Clegg

IBM Global Business Services

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Breakout session

Time: 11:40 - 12:10

Audit Committee Effectiveness: An Update

CIPFA recently published updated guidance for audit committees. With dedicated workshops and a new CIPFA conference for council members later in the year, this focused session is an ideal bite-sized, practical update for those involved in local authority audit committees. Whether you work with, or are a member of, your committee, find out about the position statement – and what you can do to make the committee more effective.

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12:15-13:15 - Lunch in the exhibition hall

Lunchtime workshops

Time: 12:20 - 13:05

Exploiting your property data for a robust capital strategy

Developing a robust capital strategy relies on good data. This session will look at the essential data and information related to your property assets that are required to improve your capital strategy.  Some of this data may already be held somewhere within your systems.  But do you know where it is and what it means?  Other data may not exist anywhere – and you might need to develop a plan to collect it. This session is vital for those looking to get the most out of their capital assets.

    Speakers:

    Chris Brain

    Senior Construction & Property Advisor

    CIPFA Property

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Extended workshop

Time: 13:00 - 14:30

Practical data analysis and visualisation workshop

This objective is to give attendees a broad understanding of how to analyse, visualise and gain insight from your data.  It’s a practical workshop with a few exercises – we will analyse publicly available datasets from the police, education, transport and other areas. Please bring a laptop.  We’ll use Power BI Desktop, a free tool from Microsoft which you can download from here, to explore, clean, transform, enrich and visualise these datasets.

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Workshops

Time: 13:15 - 14:15

Tapping into the power of data and analytics

Predictive Analytics uses many techniques from data mining modelling, machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse current data to make predictions about the future. It uses a number of data mining predictive modelling and analytical techniques to bring together the management information modelling business process to make predictions about the future.

Predictive analytics allows organisations to become more proactive and forward looking, anticipating outcomes and future behaviours based on evidence not hunches.

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Transparency and MiFID II - Understanding investment cost transparency for pension fund

With public sector pension under ever increasing pressure to understand and report the full cost of investment management, this session will provide practical insights into what to look for when analysing these costs. We will also consider key factors behind the drive to deliver transparent reporting and assess next steps towards that aim.

Three leading specialists will provide insights for helping attendees better understand investment costs and enhance their governance in this complex area

In an industry that manages £6tn of savings including public sector pensions the underlying costs and charges of investing have not always been transparent enough.

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Future shocks…risk manage your destiny

In this session Zurich Municipal will distil and highlight some of the key risks and challenges facing the public sector over the coming years whilst providing some insight and thought leadership on tackling these risks by embedding a strong risk management culture combined with  an ethical, financial management approach across the organisation to “shock proof” against a constantly changing backdrop of  both a challenging economic and socio-political environment.

 

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14:15-14:45 - Refreshment break in the exhibition hall

Development and key asset strategies

Time: 14:50 - 15:50

Housing and other property are key assets offering local communities the opportunity to provide both revenue streams and vital services, delivering both essential social and economic impacts, raising income, mitigating risk, creating homes, growing businesses, jobs, and environmental benefit. Government is at last shifting its longstanding opposition to local authorities’ development and management of social housing, meanwhile STPs are looking to break down the barriers between sectors and utilise their substantial assets more effectively.

Now there is political will – how do we go about delivering and funding the major shift required to deliver a million new homes and what will the look like?


chair:

Anita Anand

News and Politics Broadcaster

speaker:

The Rt Hon the Lord Adonis of Camden Town

Former Transport Secretary, Schools Minister, Head of the No.10 Policy Unit, and Chair of the Infrastructure Commission

Lord Andrew Mawson

Social Entrepreneur

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Apprenticeships Drop-In

Time: 14:50 - 15:05

Apprenticeships Drop-In

Explore how CIPFA can help you maximise the opportunities that the Apprenticeship Levy brings.

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16:15 - Conference Close

Time: 16:15 - 16:15


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