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Pickles appoints four Audit Commission board members

By Richard Johnstone | 4 February 2013

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has appointed four new members to the board of the Audit Commission, which will be tasked with shutting down the spending watchdog.

Adrian Collett, Andrea Sutcliffe, Nicola Scrivings and Ruth Thompson will take up vacancies created when four commissioners came to the end of their terms of office in December 2012.

Pickles said the new commissioners would work alongside other board members to achieve ‘an efficient and effective closedown’ by 2015 while overseeing the watchdog’s remaining duties.

The commission’s in-house audit work of local public bodies has already been outsourced ahead of its abolition. However, MPs have criticised the draft Bill to shut down the watchdog and enshrine replacement audit arrangements.

Among the new members, Collett joins the board as the Liberal Democrat local government commissioner, having been the party’s group leader at Hampshire County Council between 1997 and 2011. The commission’s board is required to have three commissioners from local government, one from each of the main political parties.

Thompson has held a number of posts across Whitehall, including director general of higher education at the former Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Sutcliffe is chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence and a former deputy chief executive at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Scrivings spent much of her career in the Royal Mail, including most recently as a regional operations director.

The four new members join commission chair Jeremy Newman and the existing members of the board: Councillor Robert Anderson, Janet Baker, Brian Landers, Councillor Robert Light and deputy chair Bharat Shah.

Newman said all commissioners were now expected to continue on the board until the abolition.

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