Select Committee on Treasury Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Margaret Exley, HM Treasury

  1.  The Committee has asked for information about my role and responsibilities as the non-executive member of Treasury's Management Board (TMB).


  2.  Apart from me, the members of TMB are the Treasury's Permanent Secretary, Sir Andrew Turnbull; its six Managing Directors; and the Chief Executive of the OGC, Peter Gershon. Whilst there are no formal restrictions on its remit, in practice its main focus since my appointment in May 1999 has been on issues to do with the day to day management of the Treasury. These have included its successful progress towards accreditation as an Investor in People; the PFI project to renovate its headquarters building; and the way it attracts, retains, develops and manages the performance of staff.

  3.  TMB has touched on matters of external policy relatively infrequently: advice on those questions generally goes direct to Ministers from the relevant part of the Department. Where TMB has touched on policy it has generally been either to ensure that its development is properly organised and resourced; or to consider emerging issues which ought to be brought to Ministers' attention.


  4.  My role is to provide input to TMB on all managerial questions drawing on my experience as a managing partner of a professional services firm, an expert in change management and employee communications in the public and private sectors and as someone who has founded and grown their own business.

  5.  I do not make an input to those TMB discussions which are purely policy-related. As part of my terms of appointment it was agreed that where particularly sensitive subjects arose I would withdraw from the meeting. So far this has not proved necessary. I also do not attend meetings which deal primarily with detailed personnel issues where I could not add value, such as reports on, or promotion of, individual members of staff of whom I have no experience.

  6.  TMB generally meets fortnightly. Aside from attending its meetings, and seeing correspondence circulated to board members, I have little day to day contact although I have had a number of "familiarisation" meetings to understand better the day to day workings of the Treasury.

  7.  As Andrew Turnbull noted in his oral evidence to you, my role is not the same as that of a non-executive director of a public company because the patterns of accountability are different. In a company, a non-executive has an important role to represent the interests of the shareholder on the Board. TMB's focus is purely managerial, and therefore is more akin to the executive management team of a PLC rather than to the main board.

20 June 2000

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