ICAS Public Sector Panel

To find out more about our Public Sector Panel remit, our policy positions, public sector accounting and more, please view our page ICAS in the public sector.

Panel Members

Aileen Wright (Chair)

Aileen Wright Aileen trained with Scott Oswald & Co, worked in Corporate Recovery with KPMG and moved to the then Scottish Office as an "accountancy advisor" at the point when government was starting to think about "proper accounting".  From initial consideration of the application of accounting standards to central government and the production of the first accruals-based accounts, Aileen has held various roles, including a period as Head of Internal Audit and one leading the programme which successfully implemented International Financial Reporting Standards.

In her current role, Aileen leads on external financial reporting, where current challenges include the developments associated with the Scotland Act 2012 and further devolution of powers, on internal corporate reporting to support financial management and decision-making and on governance and accountability matters.  She is a current member of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board.  Aileen has been a member of the Public Sector Committee since 2007 and became Convenor and a member of Technical Policy Board in February 2013.

John Baillie

John BaillieJohn is the former Chair of the Accounts Commission and Audit Scotland. Previously he was a partner at KPMG (Edinburgh and London) and a Member of the Reporting Panel of the Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority). He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh and former Johnstone Smith Professor of Accounting at Glasgow University. He was a Member of the Burt Committee on Local Government Finance Review that reported in 2006.

Nick Bennett

Nick BennettNick is a partner in Scott-Moncrieff, responsible for delivering audit, assurance and advisory services to UK public sector and not-for-profit bodies. Nick's experience has covered local government, NHS, further education and central government as well as appointments to public corporations. He is a member of CIPFA/LASAAC and also sits on LASAAC. Nick is a member of the Moore Stephens UK Public Sector Steering Group which is responsible for the strategic development of services to the public sector across the UK.

Russell Frith

Russell Frith Russell Frith is Assistant Auditor General at Audit Scotland. He is responsible for the appointment of auditors, quality of audit, technical support for auditors and overseeing the National Fraud Initiative in Scotland. He is also a member of a number of auditing and accounting standards bodies. Previously he was Director of Audit Strategy after being the Director of Financial Audit in the National Audit Office in Edinburgh. Prior to that, he worked in the private sector in audit and corporate finance roles as well as being a finance director in the financial services sector. He qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG.

Alistair Gordon

Alistair Gordon Alistair is the Director of Finance & Student Funding at Ayrshire College. He qualified as a CA with KPMG, then spent four years in their Paris office in their corporate finance team. He has also worked with the employee owned Clydeside Buses, EFT Finance, Clydesdale Bank/ NAG Asset Finance. More recently, Alistair spent 11 years with Learning and Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland) latterly as Director of Corporate Services.

Alan Gray

Alasdair Pinkerton Alan Gray CA is the Director of Finance and Board member of NHS Grampian. Employing over 15,000 staff and with an annual operating expenditure in excess of £1bn, NHS Grampian is one of the largest organisations in the North East. Alan is responsible for the Board's strategic financial planning, has executive responsibility for performance management and is Chairman of the programme board responsible for the public sector capital programme across the North of Scotland. Prior to taking up his current post Alan spent 25 years in professional practice, latterly as a Director with PwC.

Janet Hamblin

Janet Hamblin Janet is an audit and advisory partner at Baker Tilly. She heads up their services for the Not for Profit Sector in Scotland working with a wide variety of RSLs, Charities, Further Education Colleges and NDPBs. She has a particular interest in Governance, Risk Management and Social Impact. She sits on Baker Tilly's UK wide Steering Groups for Advisory Services to the Social Housing Sector and the Charities and Education Sectors.

She is a Non-Executive Director with the Scottish Government , Chair of  the Scottish Government Audit and Risk Committee ,a Board Member of Scottish Business in the Community and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Education Board of the Merchant Company of Edinburgh and a School Governor.

Ian Robbie

Ian Robbie Ian qualified as a CA with a predecessor firm of EY. His client portfolio included upstream oil and gas companies, public sector organisations, and charities. In 2004, after 30 years with the firm, Ian left to become a partner in Henderson Loggie, and established their Aberdeen office, where his portfolio included a similar mix of clients. Ian retired from practice in 2012. He joined the Board of Cornerstone a national charity which provides care and support services for adults, children, and young people with disabilities. He is also a member of the charity's Finance Committee. Until recently he was a member and past Chair of the Local Authority (Scotland) Accounts Advisory Committee, the body which develops and promotes proper accounting practice for local government in Scotland.

Alasdair Pinkerton

Alasdair Pinkerton Alasdair is currently an Associate Director at NHS NSS in their Practitioner & Counter Fraud Services department. He graduated with Joint Honours in Accountancy and Taxation from Glasgow University and then joined and qualified with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co (now part of KPMG) working on audit, tax, investigations and advisory work with a broad range of clients. He was seconded to the Scottish Office to work on electricity privatisation, and following a brief return to KPMG he transferred permanently to the public sector, working in a number of roles in health.

Gordon Smail

Gordon Smail Gordon Smail is a senior manager with Audit Scotland. Until recently, the main focus of his work was local government including best value audits; examinations of service performance and management practice; and investigations. He has now taken on responsibilities for audits in central government including the Scottish Government, working across financial audit and performance audit. Prior to joining Audit Scotland in 2000, Gordon worked for the Accounts Commission. Before that he was an audit manager with a firm of accountants in Toronto, the internal auditor of a council and an audit senior with a firm in Glasgow with which he qualified in 1985.

Marlene Wood

Marlene Wood Marlene is a chartered accountant with a broad range of experience in both private and publicsectors. She is currently a non-executive board member for the Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education and also sits on their audit committee and remuneration committee. She was chair of the audit committee for the University of the Highlands and Islands until 2014.

Marlene spent twenty years with the Miller Group, a major UK property business, predominantly as finance director for Miller Developments, the property development and investment arm, and latterly as group accounting and treasury director.

She is currently a non-executive director for GCP Student Living plc, and for two charities; One Parent Families Scotland, and Edinburgh Printmakers. She is also a career mentor for ICAS Foundation and a small business mentor for Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

David Watt

David Watt David Watt was a director with KPMG until autumn 2014, responsible for assurance services principally to publicly-funded and not-for-profit bodies.  David is now a non-executive director / trustee of a number of organisations, for two of which he chairs the audit committee.

He is also an independent, external member of the audit committees of Scottish Canals and the University of Glasgow.  He served as an ICAS representative on the Local Authority (Scotland) Accounts Advisory Committee between 2012 and 2014.

David is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

If you wish to contact the panel, please email:accountingandauditing@icas.com


  • Committees and boards
  • Public sector

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