Kathryn Bishop is the Welsh Government’s preferred candidate to become the first chair of the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced.
Before the chair of the WRA is formally appointed, the National Assembly’s Finance Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing on Thursday February 16 to take evidence from Ms Bishop as the preferred candidate.
Ms Bishop’s announcement as the preferred candidate follows a recommendation by an independently-chaired appointments panel after a fair and open recruitment exercise regulated by the Commission for Public Appointments.
The Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Act, which was passed by the National Assembly in April 2016, established devolved tax arrangements in Wales, including the creation of the WRA to collect and manage devolved Welsh taxes.
The WRA will become operational from April 2018, when stamp duty land tax and landfill tax are devolved to Wales. The WRA will be a non-ministerial department of the Welsh Government, which is accountable to Welsh Ministers, the National Assembly and Welsh taxpayers.
- A pre-appointment hearing has been arranged for the chair of the WRA as this is the first non-ministerial department to be established by the Welsh Government. Pre-appointment hearings are used elsewhere in the UK to enable committees to take evidence from the government’s preferred candidate for certain key public appointments prior to the final appointment decision.
- The National Assembly’s Finance Committee will publish a report setting out its views about the preferred candidate’s suitability for the post. A final decision about the appointment will be made by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government.
- Kathryn has more than 30 years' experience working with organisations undergoing major change – at Accenture, Allied Dunbar, Eagle Star, Zurich and the University of the West of England. Her background includes IT and HR.
- She has a portfolio of commitments and is an associate fellow of Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), where she directs and teaches on leadership programmes for professional service firms and other multinational corporations.
- Kathryn was appointed a civil service commissioner in April 2012 and acted as the interim First Civil Service Commissioner from April to September 2016.
- She is a director of a consulting business, managing projects for clients, including assistance with strategic planning for private sector organisations, executive agencies and NHS trusts.
- She has held a number of non-executive directorships within government, including the UK Border Agency, the UK Intellectual Property Office and the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA)
The WRA will have comparable powers to other UK tax authorities so its functions can be undertaken consistently and comprehensively.
As well as collecting tax, the WRA will:
• Provide information, advice and help about taxes to taxpayers
• Resolve complaints and disputes
• Promote tax compliance
• Reduce tax evasion and tax avoidance
• Support the development of Welsh Government tax policy