Public appointment: Members reappointed to the Board of Accounts Commission Scotland

Public appointments news release

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The Minister for Social Security and Local Government today announced the reappointment of Andrew Cowie, Christine Lester and Andrew Burns as Members of the Board of Accounts Commission Scotland.


Andrew Cowie is a former chief police officer who served on both sides of the border. He has been heavily involved in community planning in Scotland and has experience of corporate and operational delivery and best value. He is also a freelance executive and cycling coach.

Christine Lester has experience as a full time Carer and as a fundraiser for MND Scotland. She was previously Vice Chair of NHS Grampian and Chair of Moray IJB. She came from a scientific background and has had a successful career in commercial sales.

Andrew Burns has extensive management experience across the private, public and voluntary sectors. As well as currently being a Member of the Accounts Commission, his also Convener of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and is undertaking a Part-Time PhD at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Previously, he was Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council until May 2017 when he stood down from elected office.


The reappointment for Andrew Cowie and Andrew Burns will be for 4 years and run from 1 August 2022 until 31 July 2026. The reappointment for Christine Lester will be for 3 years and run from 1 January 2023 until 31 December 2026. 

The reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The reappointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £298.15 for a time commitment of 2.5 days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Christine Lester is a Non-Executive Member of the Board of Healthcare Improvement Scotland for which she receives remuneration of £171.74 per day, for a time commitment of 4 days per month.

Andrew Cowie and Andrew Burns do not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.   

Christine Lester and Andrew Cowie have had no political activity within the last five years. Andrew Burns has canvassed for the Scottish Labour Party Local Government Candidates.


The Accounts Commission plays a significant role in scrutinising approximately £27 billion of local authority spending.  Their duty is to help ensure that public money is spent properly, efficiently and effectively. It is responsible for the audit of all local authorities in Scotland (which includes integration joint boards). They provide insight to councils to support improvement and have a key role in gathering intelligence and sharing good practice.  This work helps to influence and shape transformational change through councils across Scotland.

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