Magazine article Public Finance

IDA Is Set to Shrink, Warns Incoming Chief

Magazine article Public Finance

IDA Is Set to Shrink, Warns Incoming Chief

Article excerpt

The new head of the Improvement mid Development Agency has told Public Finance that he intends to slash the size of the organisation by up to 40%, starting this year.

In an exclusive interview with PF, Rob Whiteman. who takes over as chief executive on May 17, said the body would have to narrow its priorities.

'Over the next year I will be looking at reducing the size of the IDA by 30%-40%,' he said. 'The IDA will have to streamline, become a smaller organisation and focus on fewer things... on the priorities that local government tells us it wants to work on.'

Around half of the body's funding comes from a share of the Department for Communities and Local Government block grant to councils, which Whiteman estimates will be cut by 10%-15% by 2014. He also expects the organisation to receive less income from government contracts.

However, he also said he wanted the IDA to improve local government productivity and efficiency. "As an accountant by background. …

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