Leading civil servant from Peterborough given top award in New Year’s Honours List

Jon Thompson
Jon Thompson

The chief executive of HM Customs has been given a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List.

Jon Thompson, from Peterborough, has been given the honour for public service.

On receiving his Honour for 30 years public service, Mr Thompson, said: “I’m delighted to have received this honour. The civil service has a wealth of talented and respected individuals and leaders, and I am proud to have spent the majority of my career working amongst them.”

Jon was appointed Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in April 2016 after more than three years as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

As Chief Executive, Jon is responsible for delivering the department’s strategy, including HMRC’s ambitious transformation programme, business objectives and customer service improvements.

Jon is HMRC’s Accounting Officer, accountable to Parliament for the department’s expenditure and performance.

As Permanent Under Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Jon was the government’s principal civilian adviser on defence, with primary responsibility for policy, finance and planning. He was a member of the Defence Council and the Defence Board and co-chaired the Defence Strategy Group.

Previously he was the Director General (DG) Finance, the primary adviser to ministers, the Permanent Secretary and the board on MOD’s financial position and financial management in general.

Jon was also the Head of the Government Finance Profession at the HM Treasury for three years until April 2011, leading the accountancy community across government.

Prior to joining the MOD Jon was DG Corporate Services at the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), a role covering all the corporate services including finance, procurement, estates, IT, human resources and strategy.

Prior to joining the civil service in 2004 Jon had a mixed public/private sector career working for Norfolk County Council, Eagle Star and then Ernst & Young to manage public services consultancy and audit services for the south west.

From 1997 to 2004 Jon held a range of senior finance posts at North Somerset Council (a unitary local authority) as the statutory chief financial officer, becoming the Director of Finance and Resources for the council.

In 2004 Jon joined Ofsted as Finance Director to drive up standards of financial management and corporate governance through a period of significant organisational change.