Stephen Matheson CB

BCS President 1991/92

My time, first as Deputy and then as President, was schizophrenic, on the one hand presenting a confident, business as usual picture to the world but on the other desperately trying to pull the Society back from bankruptcy. The strength of the BCS in its able network of Committees and Branches maintained the Society’s reputation at home and internationally but at the centre the picture was grim.

I was then Director General at the Inland Revenue and could ill afford the amount of time it took to get to the bottom of the Society’s problems. Technically it was insolvent and undercapitalised, a situation remedied by the revaluation of the lease on the Society’s property in Mansfield Street, but outgoings exceeded income and the bank overdraft was growing.

After deep analysis, Council decided on resolute action, including a brutal (one third) reduction in staff and the appointment of a new Chief Executive, the late, great Gavin Kirkpatrick, and a new Treasurer, Philip Jones. The surgery and changes worked and the Society has been on an onward and upward path ever since. I turned to other challenges, like devising and implementing an entire new pay and grading structure for the Inland Revenue and outsourcing the Department’s IT.

I retired as Deputy chairman in 2000 and spent some time reviewing Government projects for OGC, the Office of Government Computing. Not unlike reviewing the BCS really!