Gareth Davies has today been put forward by the Prime Minister and the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as the next Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) of the National Audit Office (NAO). The new C&AG will take up post from 1 June 2019, at which point he will also become chief executive of the NAO.
The appointment is subject to the House of Commons agreeing to recommend the candidate to HM Queen. The formal appointment is made by HM Queen.
Sir Amyas Morse will continue to lead the NAO until the end of his ten-year term, which concludes on 31 May 2019.
Gareth Davies brings a wide range of private and public sector executive and leadership expertise to the NAO. He has proven experience in public audit across central and local government and the NHS. His most recent role is Head of Public Services at Mazars, a global accountancy firm specialising in audit, tax and advisory services. Prior to this, he was managing director of the Audit Commission’s Audit Practice.
Lord Michael Bichard, Chairman of NAO said: “Gareth is a successful business leader with the ideal blend of experience to lead the NAO. He brings strategic vision and a strong track record of engaging and influencing authoritatively at the highest levels, which will be important in navigating in such a complex political environment. In the context of leaving the European Union, the NAO’s role has never been more important than it is today and Gareth’s capacity to make difficult, independent and courageous audit judgements under pressure, will be an invaluable asset. He shares the board’s enthusiasm for the NAO and has both the ambition and ability to continue the NAO’s success in making a real difference to the UK’s public finances and services.
“Gareth continues in the footsteps of Sir Amyas Morse, who has made an outstanding contribution in driving public sector improvement and supporting Parliament in responding to the challenges facing government. He will leave the NAO in a very strong and healthy position to cope with the likely challenges it will face in the future.”
Gareth Davies is a partner and global and UK Head of Public Services for Mazars, the international audit and advisory firm. He joined Mazars in 2012 to lead its UK public services practice which is now an established provider of audit and assurance services to local authorities, NHS organisations, government agencies, housing associations and educational institutions. His own portfolio of external audit clients includes large councils and teaching hospitals.
Prior to joining Mazars, Gareth was Managing Director, Audit Practice at the Audit Commission. In his 25 years at the Audit Commission he gained wide experience of financial audit, value for money studies and performance assessments. The senior posts he held at the Commission also included Managing Director for Local Government and Housing and Regional Director for the North.
Gareth is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.