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Leigh to step down as head of PAC

26 October 2009

Edward Leigh will step down as head of the government’s spending watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee at the end of this Parliament.

Leigh, a Conservative MP, has been heading up reports on public efficiency for the past eight years and has often been the bane of many facilities managers, property heads and procurement teams.

One of the PAC’s latest reports came down on the Ministry of Defence for how it is upgrading its living accommodation for service families. Many of the reports have tried to give credit where effort has been made but they must also point out areas where improvements should be focused.

He made his announcement during a debate on the PAC's reports in the 2008-09 session last week.

Leigh believes that the PAC reports have helped the government to save more than £4bn, a conservative estimate, he said. Recommendations within PAC have paved the way for better government use of the public purse overall, he added.

He said that in the pursuit of value for money, the PAC never interviews ministers, only civil servants, “no doubt to the relief of many a minister”.

Leigh, 59, entered Parliament in 1983 and is the member for Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. He is a son of the late Sir Neville Leigh KCVO, a former Clerk to the Privy Council.