SPA Appoint Interim Chief Financial Officer


Karen Kelly CPFA takes up role on 9 February


In late December 2015, the SPA announced that a chief financial officer was being sought for an interim period to address weaknesses in financial processes and controls identified in the audit of the 2014-15 SPA accounts.

Karen Kelly has been appointed to this interim post, and will begin work from Tuesday 9 February 2016 based at Pacific Quay. Karen has more than 20 years of financial leadership roles in Scotland, the last decade as Head of Financial Services (2006-12) and Head of Corporate Programmes (2012-15) for City of Edinburgh Council.

Karen will report directly into John Foley as the Chief Executive and accountable officer for police finances, and will strengthen SPA assurance that financial direction and oversight is in place during a period in which key financial elements within the strategic direction of Scottish policing will be required.

Working closely with the Director of Financial Accountability in the SPA and the Director of Finance in Police Scotland, Karen’s priorities over the coming four months will be:

  • The requirement and development of a medium term financial plan for policing by the end of March
  • SPA and Police Scotland’s requirement to demonstrate financial sustainability
  • Stronger strategic and financial leadership across the complementary policing organisations
  • Improved financial processes to support the production and audit of the annual report and accounts, and
  • Ensuring all appropriate accounting processes and controls are in place in relation to fixed assets (a fundamental part of the improvements required following Audit Scotland’s audit report of last year).

SPA Chief Executive John Foley said:

“I am delighted to have secured Karen Kelly’s skills and experience for this role and at this time. I am confident that she will contribute to a step-change in policing’s approach to financial planning and control, so that we can address with confidence both the immediate and longer-term financial challenges that policing faces.”