The five people who will make up the board of Revenue Scotland, the new authority to in chaerge of collecting the taxes devolved to the Scottish Parliament, were named today by Finance Secretary John Swinney.

Chairman will be Dr Keith Nicholson, an internationally recognised scientist and award-winning company director, who has more than 30 years’ experience in statistical analysis and data modelling. Before moving full time into consultancy, he was a professor working on environmental and energy systems and held positions in universities in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Denmark and Scotland. He currently runs an independent consultancy providing strategic advisory services in cyber security, IT and telecommunications technology. 

Also appointed are Jane Ryder, a solicitor qualified in Scotland and England who was the first chief executive of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), and who currently chairs the charity Arts & Business Scotland, as well as holdong other board appointments; John Whiting, tax director of the UK’s Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) and a non-executive director of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) since April 2013; Lynn Bradley, an accountant with more than 30 years’ experience of working in the Scottish public and private sectors, including as head of finance for West Dunbartonshire Council and director of corporate programmes & performance with Audit Scotland; and Ian Tait, a regulatory specialist who is director of investment and hydro nation at the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

Despite an Audit Scotland report earlier this month which questioned whether the new body would be fully ready to take up its collection responsibilities on the due date, 1 April 2015, Mr Swinney said he was confident that the authority was on track.