Oflog chair Amyas Morse steps down due to illness

Gove says Morse has “provided invaluable independent advice, challenge and support" to Oflog's early development
Lord Amyas Morse when he was head of the NAO in 2018 at a parliament committee session. Photo: PA/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

27 Mar 2024

Amyas Morse, the interim chair of the Office for Local Government, will step down from his role at the end of this month for "unexpected health reasons".

Lord Morse was appointed as interim chair of Oflog in January 2023, helping to launch the body in July 2023.

Announcing his resignation, Morse said: “I would have very much liked to continue as interim and perhaps permanent chair of Oflog. It is with great regret that I must stop for unexpected health reasons.”

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove said Morse has “provided invaluable independent advice, challenge and support to the establishment and early development of Oflog”.

Morse, a former head of the National Audit Office, said he “proud” of the model for Oflog that he and his colleagues have developed "in close collaboration with the local government sector”, which was set out in the organisation’s draft Corporate Plan, published in February.

“It is a proportionate and nuanced approach that seeks to act with a light touch and through influence, avoiding some of the heavy-handed methods of previous eras,” Morse said of the model.

“I am grateful to the secretary of state for the opportunity to perform this role, and for the freedom he has given the chief executive and me to shape Oflog as we saw fit,” he added.

Morse thanked his colleagues for their “immense energy and sincere commitment to seeking to help the sector”. He added: “Most of all, I want to pay tribute to the thousands of people in local government who do heroic work to provide invaluable services, often in difficult circumstances.”

He also said he believes “strongly” thatas it continues to develop, Oflog “will make a real difference” to local government’s success in making “a huge contribution to the lives of citizens across England”.

Part of DLUHC, Oflog was launched in July 2023 to provide authoritative and accessible data and analysis about local government performance and support its improvement”. Its strategic objectives include empowering citizens with information about their local authority and increasing local and central government's understanding of local-authority performance.

DLUHC said Morse had provided “independent advice, support and challenge in Oflog’s first phase”, in a press releasing announcing his resignation.

Gove said he is “immensely grateful to Lord Morse for his tremendous contribution to the establishment and development of Oflog”.

“His counsel and leadership have been instrumental. I am very sorry that he is, with reluctance, stepping down,” he added.

He added that DLUHC is “working at pace” to appoint a new interim chair.

Until a new interim chair is appointed, Gove has instructed Josh Goodman, OFLOG’s chief executive, to “continue to act with a spirit of independence” in line with Oflog’s formal remit.

Councillor Shaun Davies, chair of the Local Government Association, praised Morse, saying he has “brought essential integrity to the role”.

“I would like to thank Lord Morse for his leadership and extensive engagement with the LGA and wider local government family,” he said. “We wish him well.”


HR Local & Devolved
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