Richard Douglas rewarded for civil service career

Former head of the government finance profession handed CIPFA medal for "outstanding" public service

By Colin Marrs

10 Jul 2015

Richard Douglas, former head of the government finance profession, has been awarded the prestigious President’s Medal from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA).

Douglas received the accolade – only awarded on rare occasions – at a ceremony on Tuesday for his achievements during a long public sector finance career.

Douglas joined HM Customs and Excise straight from university in 1978, qualified as an accountant in 1983 while working at the National Audit Office and in 2010 became acting permanent secretary of the Department of Health.

On receiving the award, Douglas said: "Working in public service can be challenging, but in equal measure it is also rewarding and one of the reasons for this is the great comradeship of public servants.

"I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those I've worked with over the years who have inspired and motivated me- this award is something I share with all of you. And, of course, thanks to CIPFA who as an Institute bring us altogether."

During his civil service career, Douglas also worked as director of finance at National Savings and Investments, and as director general of finance at the Department of Health.

In 2006 he was awarded membership of the Order of the Bath (CB) for services to health. He retired from the civil service in May 2015.

John Matheson, CIPFA's President, said: "Richard has been an outstanding public servant exhibiting the highest professional standards of accountancy and fiscal management within the Department of Health and across central government.

"He has been an inspiration to his colleagues. In one of the most politically fraught areas of public financial management, which has been characterised by almost constant change, he has been a force for stability and continuity and has always dealt with those challenges with great sense of calm, personal modesty and good humour."

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