Judges

The Public Finance Awards 2023, now in their seventh year, are the ideal way to be rewarded for your achievements within the public finance and governance sector. The Awards recognise the people, products and services that demonstrate excellence and originality within public finance.

Entries are open to all organisations and bodies within public finance and governance in the UK.

Judged by a panel of distinguished sector leaders, winners of the awards are acknowledged as best in class.

“A terrific opportunity to recognise the success, immense hard work and ingenuity of the individuals and teams who are driving public finance innovation.” Rob Whiteman, chief executive, CIPFA.

Matthew Fright

Senior Researcher
Institute for Government
Matthew is a senior researcher in the public services team. He is one of the authors of the IfG CIPFA Performance Tracker and his work focuses on local government and children’s social care. Matthew has a PhD on the origins of national income accounting. Before university he worked as an intern for an MP and later scrutinised the value for money of government programmes at the National Audit Office. He joined the Institute in June 2022 from a secondment to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee at the House of Commons. https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/person/matthew-fright

Manj Kalar

Director
Kalar Consulting
Manj Kalar is public sector finance professional accountant with 30 years’ experience gained across the public sector. Manj has worked across several large UK central government departments implementing accrual accounting for government income (taxes) and expenditure. She led the sub consolidation of Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) for local government. At Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) Manj led policy responsibility for central government and financial management before becoming global head of Public Sector at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). She started her career as a VAT inspector in HM Revenue & Customs. Manj is a professional accountant, FCCA, CPFA and PRINCE 2 practitioner providing consulting advice globally including IPSAS implementation; thought leadership, research and publications, delivering bespoke technical training/ events / conferences. She is also a CIPFA work based learning coach supporting trainee accountants. Further information is available at https://www.kalarconsulting.com/

Abdool Kara

Executive Director
National Audit Office
Abdool Kara is an Executive Director at the National Audit Office, where he started in February 2017. He is responsible for the NAO’s local services financial audit and value for money portfolio shadowing the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Department for Education. Prior to joining the NAO Abdool had 25 years’ experience in the local government sector, including working for four different councils up to and including chief executive level, and seven years at the Audit Commission on both value for money and inspection. He also had a stint at the Cabinet Office advising on public service improvement. Abdool is currently a strategic advisor to the Welsh Centre for Public Policy, and a Board member of West Kent Housing Association.

Tricia Morrison

Director of Performance and Improvement
NHS Counter Fraud Authority
Tricia is the Director of Performance and Improvement at the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, joining in June 2020. Her remit covers the operational areas of the organisation covering Fraud Prevention, Intelligence, Operations (investigating the most serious and complex cases of fraud against the NHS), The Fraud Hub, together with a range of strategic functions covering Strategy Development, Business Planning, Data Analytics, Performance and Project Management and Business Improvement. Tricia’s educational background is in public policy and she has an MBA in Public Services Management. Tricia has extensive public sector experience predominately in local government and most recently in the NHS. Her most recent roles have included Assistant Director level posts at Warwickshire County Council for Performance and ICT and Deputy Director post for Strategy and Business Development at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust. Tricia has a strong record of achievement in leading, delivering and driving change in a range of corporate functions including – strategy development, project and programme management, performance management, business planning, transformation, business intelligence and ICT services. A passionate and strong advocate for public services she is absolutely committed to ensuring NHS resources are spend on patient care and the key role the NHSCFA plays in ensuring we identify, prevent and investigate fraud across the health system.

Sonia Virdee

Financial Services Director
City of London Corporation
Sonia Virdee is the Financial Services Director for the City of London Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile. As Financial Services Director, a key part of Sonia’s role is driving innovation within the City Corporation. Sonia has extensive expertise driving successful organisations to accurate and timely financial reporting and effective process improvement. She is focused and results-driven, with considerable hands-on expertise in streamlining business operations and developing financial controls to manage and mitigate risks effectively. Sonia was a nominee and winner at the Public Finance Awards 2019 and was honoured to win the Public Finance Future Leader of The Year. Sonia is passionate about Change in the Public Sector to empower our nation with the latest tools, techniques and approaches to optimise the industry and benchmark it against best practices through Strategic Transformation. Her approach is not about disruption; She is focused on enablement. ! Sonia’s key motivator and driver is supporting, coaching, and mentoring people to succeed. As such, it helps that she is a proud mother of three children and runs a diverse household.