This will be the first in regular series of blogs I will be doing to chart the work of the Public Sector Pioneer Network (the Pioneer Network), which is being run by the IIRC in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). I will look at how the Pioneer Network is fulfilling its aim of enabling a diverse group of leading global public sector organizations to inform the development of, and gain practical experience of implementing, Integrated Reporting <IR> in the public sector.
The Pioneer Network was launched at a roundtable event in Washington in November 2014, where experts from organizations including the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UK National Health Service (NHS), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) gathered to explore why and how the public sector should be adopting <IR>. The Hon. David M. Walker, Former Comptroller General of the USA, also joined the panel discussion.
There was much interest around how <IR> can help change the “internal wiring” of organizations – breaking down silos, joining up the dots between strategy, risk and performance through more integrated thinking – and how this can have profound effects on outcomes for organizations. More cohesive strategy. Better execution. Greater efficiency. The holy grail of the public sector?
Another statement that resonated with me was that “to be accountable you need to be understandable”. Disengagement between public sector organizations and those that they serve is a commonly heard criticism, and <IR> is a potential answer to breaking through the complexity in a concise way.
Since then, it’s been an exciting start to 2015 as awareness of the potential for <IR> in the public sector, and therefore increasing interest in participation in the Pioneer Network, continues to grow. With over one-third of global GDP being spent by the public sector and current reporting requirements generally telling us little about how well a government or public service organisation is equipped to meet the challenges and obligations ahead in terms of delivering services and supporting communities, the time is right to extend the benefits already being seen by businesses from <IR> into public sector organizations. I’ll be talking to a number of national and international organizations in the next few weeks, as well as planning for our first Network teleconferences in early March and an event on 27 May 2015 linked to the IIRC’s Council Meeting in London.
If you are interested in joining the Pioneer Network or would like more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org