'Reforms will impact every aspect of our operation’ – Louise Smyth on Companies House's top priority

2020 may have been a year like no other, but 2021 was a chip off the old block and relentless from day one. The chief exec tells us about 12 more months of dealing with Covid as well as new challenges
Companies House chief exec Louise Smyth

By Civil Service World

28 Dec 2021

 

What was your highlight of 2021?

I am always proud of the role Companies House plays in driving confidence in the UK economy and this year is no different. 

Throughout the pandemic we have risen to the challenge and continued to introduce new digital routes that allow companies to transact with us easily while they get on with growing their businesses. 

This year I was honoured to be voted as the new president of the Corporate Registers Forum, an international association of registries like Companies House, and through this group I am continually proud to see how the UK and Companies House are leading the way on several fronts including transparency, open data, innovative services and supporting our economies.

How did you tackle the biggest challenges facing your organisation in 2021?

One of the biggest challenges this year has been knowing how best to support companies through the changing environment during the pandemic. 

We have worked hard to improve our stakeholder engagement and understand what is important to them. 

A strong sign that we are getting this right is the fact that our customer satisfaction has remained high although we can’t be complacent because customer expectations are always growing and there’s a lot of change on the horizon. 

"We can’t be complacent because customer expectations are always growing"

It’s also a key priority to me to ensure that the people at Companies House feel connected to the organisation and to each other when many of us are working in different ways and in difficult circumstances, so I’m pleased that our networks have continued to grow and provide essential support to so many.

What is your number one priority for 2022?

The number one priority for next year is preparing for the major reforms that are expected through legislative change. 

These reforms are really exciting as they will give us a greater role in tackling economic crime but they will impact every aspect of our operation and how users interact with us. Our transformation remains the biggest priority so that we have solid foundations to build on and have the brilliant services that support the economy and all of our users.

Which historical, mythical or contemporary figure would you most like to join you for a New Year’s Eve celebration?

I’d invite Ruth Jones and hope that she would turn up as Nessa and bring the cast of Gavin and Stacey with her.

That should ensure a good night! 

Read the most recent articles written by Civil Service World - Servants of the people: a portrait of a modern civil service

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