Skip to the content

16 January 2014: IPSA’s chief executive

IPSA has today announced that its chief executive, Andrew McDonald, will be taking retirement at the end of March on the grounds of ill-health. He has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease for a number of years. His retirement comes after medical advice that his cancer is now incurable.

Andrew McDonald, 51, was appointed as IPSA’s first Chief Executive in 2009 and has led the organisation through the major reforms to MPs’ business costs and expenses and through recent work to overhaul MPs’ remuneration package.


Sir Ian Kennedy, IPSA’s chair, said today:


“I am desperately sad that we have had to make this announcement following the deterioration in Andrew’s health. He has been magnificent in leading our small organisation as we introduced major reform in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal.

 “Andrew oversaw the creation of IPSA and, from a standing start, turned an idea into a fully operational organisation in a few short months, under intense scrutiny. In its report on the establishment of IPSA, the Office of Government Commerce stated that ‘the impossible has been delivered’ when reflecting on the scale of the task faced and the job done. The impossible would not have been achieved without Andrew. 

“Since then, he has led the organisation with aplomb; cementing the major reforms that IPSA introduced to soothe one of the biggest political sores of a generation, helping to deliver savings of tens of millions of pounds for the taxpayer, bringing transparency and regularity to MPs’ business costs and expenses, and facing each challenge with rare skill, insight and leadership and his typical enthusiasm and good humour. He will be very greatly missed.”
IPSA will shortly advertise for a new Chief Executive.

Notes to editor:
Andrew McDonald was appointed as IPSA’s Chief Executive in September 2009. He was previously chief executive of Government Skills, the Sector Skills Council for central government and the armed forces. He has been a civil servant for the past 27 years and has undertaken a range of policy and operational roles including the delivery of a construction project, leading a new agency at its start-up and running the constitutional reform programme.
Andrew spent 2005/6 on a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley where he researched and wrote on constitutional reform and on national identity.


He is a trustee of Action for Children and the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and chairs the Civil Service Disability Engagement Group.   He has written on public policy issues, British history and disability. He is currently working on a book on his experience of ill health.


In June, Andrew will be giving a public lecture for Marie Curie Cancer Care on how patients and doctors communicate about cancer. Details of the lecture, ‘Let’s Talk About Cancer’, will appear on the Marie Curie website at
For more information, please contact IPSA's Press Office.