NAO Board and Leadership Team
The role of the Board is to:
- develop the NAO’s strategy with the C&AG
- provide oversight to the management of the NAO’s resources; and
- support and advise the C&AG in the exercise of his functions.
The Board comprises:
- an independent non-executive Chairman;
- three other non-executive board members drawn from outside the NAO;
- the C&AG;
- the Chief Operating Officer; and
- four Executive Leaders.
The Board is supported by an Audit and Risk Committee and a Remuneration and Nominations Committee.
The C&AG is supported in his role as accounting officer of the NAO by an executive Leadership Team. The Leadership Team is an executive group responsible for supporting the C&AG in running the NAO.
Terms of reference
Minutes of meetings of the Board
Travel and hospitality expenditure
Lord Bichard KCB
Michael Bichard has served at very senior levels in local government as Chief Executive at both Brent and Gloucestershire. He then moved into central government working as Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency and then as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education and Employment.
Since his retirement from the Civil Service in 2001, he has held a variety of posts including Vice Chancellor of the University of the Arts London, Chair of the Legal Services Commission, Chair of the Design Council and was the founder Director of the Institute for Government. In 2004 he chaired an inquiry into the Soham murders. He is currently Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Deputy Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe.
He received a knighthood in 1999 and became a cross-bench member of the House of Lords in 2010. He is now a Deputy Speaker of the House.
Naaz Coker served as a non-executive member of the NAO Board between 2012 and September 2015 when she sadly passed away following a long illness. She contributed to the continuing development of the NAO’s governance, had a keen interest in the development of our people and was a strong supporter of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Prior to joining the NAO Naaz had a long and successful career in the health sector. She will be greatly missed by all who have worked with her.
The NAO will be seeking to recruit a new non-executive member of the board in due course.
Joanne Shaw is an experienced non-executive director and board chair with a background in private, public and third sector organisations. She is a qualified accountant with expertise in strategic development and change management.
More recently she served as non-executive Chair of NHS Direct, and is currently on the board of the British Board of Film Classification and two healthcare organisations, Nuffield Health and Datapharm Communications Limited.
Ray Shostak, CBE, is an international adviser in education, government performance and public service reform. He was Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Director General Performance Management and member of the Board of Her Majesty’s Treasury from 2007 to 2011. Previously, Ray served as Director of Public Services at HM Treasury and has had responsibility for a wide variety of public service and spending control issues. Prior to joining the Treasury, he was the first Director of Children, Schools and Families at Hertfordshire County Council. He has also worked as Head of Pupil Performance in the Department of Education and Skills; and held a number of senior roles in local government.
Ray is currently Chair of Trustees of the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies, a Trustee of the Early Intervention Foundation and is an Honorary Norham Fellow at Oxford University. Ray was awarded an Honorary CBE for services to education by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005.
Robert Sykes has significant experience of working in local government, and served as Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council for ten years. He also has non-executive experience in the private and public Sectors, most recently serving on the Boards of Core Assets and as non-executive member of the Board of the Crown Prosecution Service until 2012.
In 2012 he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as Lead Commissioner at Doncaster MBC. He left in the summer of 2014 when the intervention successfully ended. In addition he has been the Chair of a Joint Commissioning Board for Adult Services in recent years. He brings his experience of local government to the Board of the NAO, at the time in which the NAO takes up additional responsibilities for this sector.
Comptroller and Auditor General
Amyas Morse was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General on 1 June 2009.
Amyas was born in Edinburgh, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He led the Coopers and Lybrand practice in Scotland, before moving to London to manage the London City Office. He subsequently became the Executive Partner of the Coopers and Lybrand UK firm. When PricewaterhouseCoopers was formed, he took on global responsibilities, and served as Global Leader of Assurance practice (audit and related services), and then as Global Managing Partner (Operations).
Amyas Morse joined the Ministry of Defence in July 2006 as the Defence Commercial Director. During his time as Defence Commercial Director he was responsible for shaping the Department’s relationship with industry, and he played a key role in the agreement of strategic commercial arrangements. More widely across government, he served as a member of the Major Projects Review Group, the Public Sector Board of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, and on a National Health Service Project Board.
Chief Operating Officer
Michael Whitehouse was appointed Chief Operating Officer for the NAO on 1 July 2009.
Michael is CIPFA qualified and has had responsibility for a range of portfolios both as Assistant Auditor General (from 2002) and as Director (from 1990). Michael has extensive experience of value for money work across government including defence, foreign affairs and international aid, agriculture and economic regulation. Michael spent 15 months working in New Zealand with the Office of the Auditor General. In 1992 he was seconded to the Ministry of Finance in Zambia where he led a nine month review of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). From 1994 to 1997, he was the UK Audit Commissioner for the European Space Agency.
As well as having responsibility for strategy and the operational performance and capability of the NAO Michael leads the NAO’s work on cross government systemic issues. Michael is an executive member of the NAO Board.
Michael is also a Trustee of Access Accountancy.
Sue Higgins joined the NAO in January 2014 as Executive Leader, Local Services with responsibility for the NAO’s work on local government, education and health. Sue previously held Director General roles in the Department for Communities and Local Government and Department for Education, and senior finance roles in the local government sector, including the London Borough of Sutton and Slough Borough Council. Sue is an executive member of the NAO Board.
Dr Sally Howes
Sally joined the NAO in 2010 as a Director, and was appointed Executive Leader with responsibility for digital and innovation in 2013. She has considerable experience of policy, strategy software and system development. She is responsible for the development of the NAO’s non-audit expertise and the strategic development of our IT capability, including data analytics.
Sally’s career began in the aerospace and defence industry, developing real time systems and working on international satellite programmes. She then set up her own consultancy serving clients in the space, defence and broadcasting sector. Prior to joining the NAO she held roles with leading trade associations, represented the UK aerospace and defence industry, and worked for the Ministry of Defence. She was awarded an OBE for services to the space industry in 2002.
Sally is also a Visiting Professor and member of Council at Surrey University and chairs the Institution for Engineering and Technology Policy Panel on IT.
Stephen Smith joined the National Audit Office in August 2015, as an Executive Leader
Prior to that he had over 20 years experience as a Partner with KPMG where he led a number of key initiatives for the firm nationally and internationally and often with a performance improvement or change agenda at their heart. His experience ranged across a broad spectrum, including audit, mergers and acquisitions, and business advice, with clients from across the private and public sectors, as well as a secondment to HM Treasury Accounting Group.
Stephen is jointly responsible for leadership of the financial audit workstream, a portfolio of public and sector bodies and more generally the NAO’s Corporate Finance related work.
John Thorpe joined the Leadership Team in January 2014, assuming responsibility for the NAO’s work on economic affairs. John qualified as an accountant with the NAO. He has experience of directing a mixed portfolio of work, providing leadership to the financial audit work-stream, and achieving significant progress in key areas – such as the understanding of fraud and error in welfare benefits.