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Dec 2016

Getting to the heart of decision making: Whitehall's Financial Management Reform

In 2014, HM Treasury launched the Financial Management Reform programme (FMR). This is widely seen as one of the most successful and mature of the UK’s functional reforms. The purpose of this joint paper by the Institute for Government and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is to allow those interested in improving finance functions in other complex organisational settings (especially centres of government) to see what is happening in the UK, and to understand the way this change has been undertaken.

Similarly, this paper is an opportunity for those involved in other functional reforms occurring in the UK to understand what is happening in Whitehall’s finance function.
The FMR has delivered significant progress in a relatively short period of time. It is a story of success, especially compared with the experience of many earlier cross-government reforms.

[R]eform programmes have a life cycle that requires reinvention at some stage … we will need to add to the programme and re-shape it.

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Getting to the heart of decision making: Whitehall's Financial Management Reform