Professor David Heald

Public Testimony

Professor David Heald All documents are available electronically as Adobe PDF files.

On fiscal transparency
  • Transparency about public expenditure numbers (1998) (view 868KB PDF)
  • Parliament's information needs on public expenditure (2003) (view 448KB PDF)
  • Budget Report 2005: the need to reform fiscal institutions (2005) (view 523KB PDF)
  • The implications for public spending of fixed-term Parliaments (2014): David Heald emphasised that institutional arrangements affect transparency in his written evidence to the House of Commons Political and Institutional Reform Committee on 13 February 2014 when it inquired into the effects of Fixed-term Parliaments. This evidence and his web-cast oral evidence is cited in the Committee's Report.
  • David Heald pre-recorded an interview on fiscal transparency, in English with Italian sub-titles, for an Italian webinar on 16 July 2015. This webinar was organised jointly by the Polytechnic of Milan (Politecnico di Milano) and OpenCoesione (a transparency initiative of the Italian Government which, inter alia, hosts data analyses on the disbursement in Italy of EU funding). The title of the webinar was 'La trasparenza de finanziamenti pubblici nell'era dell'ICT: une sfida aperta'.
  • The contributors were authors of think pieces commissioned by the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency's project on incentives for fiscal transparency. David Heald prepared a think piece on 'Surmounting the obstacles to fiscal transparency' (2015), as part of a series commissioned by the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency

On Public-Private Partnerships
  • David Heald's written and oral evidence on 14 December 2009 to the Treasury Committee on the 2009 Pre-Budget Report drew attention to the arbitrage of accounting and national accounts standards in relation to Private Finance Initative projects. This evidence was referred to extensively in the January 2010 Report.
  • David Heald submitted written evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Commitee inquiry into the Private Finance and Off-Balance Sheet debt, the Report being published in March 2010.
  • David Heald submitted written evidence to the Treasury Committee's inquiry into the Private Finance Initiative, his views on PFI accounting being heavily cited in its 2011 Report
  • David Heald gave oral evidence on the UK Coalition Government's December 2012 relaunch of the Private Finance Initiative, now known as PF2, to the Treasury Committee on 5 March 2013. The web cast is available here (his evidence starts 55 minutes into the recording). His evidence was extensively cited in the Committee's March 2014 Report.

On devolution finance
  • Written evidence on 'Funding Devolution', to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, 24 April 2002
  • Oral evidence on 'Funding Devolution', to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, 16 May 2002
  • Oral evidence on 'Budget Process 2005-06' to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament, 4 May 2004
  • Oral evidence at the 'Round Table on the Budget Process' held by the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament on 10 June 2008
  • Evidence to the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution (2008) (view PDF)
  • Evidence to the Holtham Commission on the funding of Wales (2008) (view PDF)
  • Evidence to the House of Lords' Committee on the Barnett formula (2009) (view PDF)
  • Evidence to the Holtham Commission on taxes and borrowing powers (2009) (view PDF)
  • Oral evidence on the October 2010 Spending Review to the Committee of Finance and Personnel of the Northern Ireland Assembly (David Heald's evidence starts 52 minutes into this recording), the written transcript appearing here
  • David Heald gave oral evidence (pages 133-68) on 10 May 2012 at the University of Edinburgh to the McKay Commission on the implications of devolution for the composition and role of the House of Commons.
  • David Heald submitted written evidence and gave oral evidence on 25 June 2014 to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament. These hearings were held in advance of the Scottish Independence referendum on 18 September 2014: he was asked to concentrate on the financial implications of a No vote. The web cast appears here, with his evidence starting 70 minutes into the proceedings.
  • David Heald submitted written evidence and gave oral evidence on 5 November 2014 to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament. These hearings were held after the No vote in the Scottish Independence referendum on 18 September 2014, forming part of the Committee's Inquiry into further devolved powers. The webcast can be found here.
  • David Heald submitted written evidence to the Smith Commission, established by the UK Government after the No vote in the Scottish Independence referendum on 18 September 2014. The Commission brings together two representatives of five political parties, under an independent chair, to propose new powers for the Scottish Parliament.
  • David Heald submitted to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee of the Scottish Parliament a memorandum on the misalignment of budgetary timetables at Holyrood and Westminster, and a pessimistic commentary on the Fiscal Framework after its publication on 23 February 2016.
  • David Heald submitted on 22 August 2017 a memorandum to the Finance and Constitution Committee of the Scottish Parliament, titled The Impact of Brexit on the Scottish Budget
  • With Iain Wright, David Heald submitted on 31 August 2018 a memorandum to the Finance and Constitution Committee of the Scottish Parliament, titled The Impact of UK Common Frameworks on the Devolution Settlement.
  • David Heald submitted Written evidence to the Public Accounts Committee’s Inquiry into funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, on 17 June 2019
  • David Heald submitted written evidence on COVID-19 and the devolved fiscal settlement to the Finance and Constitution Committee of the Scottish Parliament on 29 May 2020
  • David Heald submitted a memorandum to the Finance and Constitution Committee and the Social Security Committee of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government on the forthcoming Review of the Fiscal Framework which was published on 20 October 2020 (pp. 33-37), accompanying the submission to the UK Government on the terms of reference for the Review.

On public audit
  • David Heald gave oral evidence on 7 February 2011 at the House of Commons to the Communities and Local Government Committee on the abolition of the Audit Commission. His written and oral evidence were extensively cited in the Committee's Report.
  • David Heald gave written and oral evidence on legislative proposals concerning the Wales Audit Office to the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly of Wales on 16 October 2012. His evidence was extensively cited in the Committee's Report. The video of his oral evidence appears here.
  • David Heald gave oral evidence on the future of audit arrangements in England, following the abolition of the Audit Commission, to the Local Audit Bill Committee, on 30 October 2012. The Committee's Report refers to David Heald's oral evidence.
  • David Heald submitted written evidence on 29 January 2021 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Audit Committee in relation to its inquiry on the future governance of the Northern Ireland Audit Office. Subsequently, he gave oral evidence on 10 March 2021, with both transcript and video being available (David Heald's session was from 4 minutes to 32 minutes in the recording). The Committee reported to the Assembly on 26 January 2022, citing David Heald's evidence and re-publishing it as an annex to its report. The Committee's recommendations were approved by the Assembly on 14 February 2022, after which the report was put in the public domain.

On government accounting and budgeting reform
  • Views on Whole of Government Accounts (1998) (view PDF)
  • Progress with Resource Accounting and Budgeting (2000) (View Treasury Committee Web Document, please scroll down to 'Examination of Witnesses')
  • The implementation of Resource Accounting in UK central government (2005) (view PDF)
  • The implications of the delayed switch to IFRS (2008) (view PDF)
  • The Minutes of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board, of which David Heald was a member from August 2004 to July 2009, are available at: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/4983.htm; and its annual reports can be found by searching, for example, 'Financial Reporting Advisory Board report for the period April 2007 to March 2008'.
  • The accounting treatment of PFI projects (2010) (view PDF), together with the written transcript of oral evidence to the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons on 14 December 2009 (view PDF)
  • David Heald proposed the establishment of a Spending and Tax Committee to the Fixed-Term Parliaments Committee
  • David Heald submitted written evidence in May 2016 to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on 'The uses of government accounts', an inquiry that led to the Treasury's Government Financial Reporting Review and the establishment of the Treasury's User/Preparer Group, of which David Heald was appointed a member in October 2019
  • David Heald submitted written and oral evidence to the Procedure Committee's Inquiry into Estimates (2016), and later written and oral evidence to its follow-up inquiry (2018) on whether there should be a Budget Committee.
  • With Ron Hodges (Birmingham), David Heald wrote an assessment of the UK response to the pandemic, title 'The accounting, budgeting and fiscal impact of COVID-19 on the United Kingdom' (2020) (view PDF)

On public expenditure planning and control
  • The new fiscal framework (1998) (view PDF)
  • The public finances in the 2003 Financial Statement and Budget Report (2003) (view PDF)
  • Budget 2004: a limited window on SR 2004 (2004) (view PDF)
  • Spending Review 2004: more difficult times ahead (2004) (view PDF)
  • Pre-Budget Report 2004: testing the fiscal rules (2005) (view PDF)
  • Budget 2006: the public expenditure dimension (2006) (view PDF)
  • Comprehensive Spending Review 2007: urgent issues for Parliament (2007) (view PDF)
  • The implications of the delayed switch to IFRS (2008) (view PDF)
  • Pre-Budget Report 2008: The return of hard times (2008) (view PDF)
  • Budget 2009: The future consideration of public expenditure (2009) (view PDF)
  • Pre-Budget Report 2009: a holding statement (2010) (view PDF), together with the written transcript of oral evidence to the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons on 14 December 2009 (view PDF)
  • David Heald submitted written evidence in March 2016 on 'Reforming Supply' to the Procedure Committee of the House of Commons (view PDF)
  • David Heald submitted written evidence on 2 November 2018 on The Case for a Spending and Tax Committee to the House of Commons Procedure Committee’s Inquiry into the case for a Budget Committee (view HTML)
  • David Heald submitted written evidence in May 2016 on the 'Uses of government accounts' to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into government accounts (view HTML )
  • With Ron Hodges (Birmingham), David Heald wrote an assessment of the UK response to the pandemic, title 'The accounting, budgeting and fiscal impact of COVID-19 on the United Kingdom' (2020) (view PDF)