Deadline for applications to head OBR extended by Treasury

Applicants given an additional month to apply to head finance watchdog


Photo: PA

By Richard Johnstone

20 Feb 2020

The Treasury has extended the deadline for applications to succeed Robert Chote as chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The finance ministry yesterday announced the deadline extension from 20 February to 19 March in a footnote on the initial announcement calling for applications, which still includes a quote from the now-former chancellor Sajid Javid.

The new head of the public finance watchdog is expected to replace Chote from October, when his second five-year term ends.


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The OBR is responsible for producing the official UK economic and fiscal forecasts, assessing the government’s performance against its fiscal rules and reporting on the sustainability of and risks to the public finances. It publishes an economic and fiscal outlook for the government twice a year, to coincide with both the Budget and spring or autumn statement, although there has not been a Budget since last March due to delays around Brexit and the timing of the December election.

The OBR planned to publish a restated fiscal forecast in December, but this was postponed after cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill “concluded that this would not be consistent with the Cabinet Office’s general election guidance.”

An updated forecast will be published alongside the Budget on 11 March, which will be presented by Rishi Sunak after Javid resigned in last week’s ministerial reshuffle over plans to create a joint team of special advisers between the Treasury and No.10 Downing Street.

CSW has asked the Treasury for further details on why the deadline has been extended.

In the initial announcement of the process to find Chote’s successor, Javid said that the OBR’s independence and expertise was admired “not just in Britain but across the world”. He added: “I look forward to working with Robert Chote to deliver my Budget on 11 March before he finishes his second term as chair”.

The appointment of the next chair will now be made by Sunak and is subject to the consent of the Treasury Select Committee. The appointment is for an initial five-year term, with the possibility of serving a further five years.

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