Appointment of Robert Chote as Chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility - Treasury Contents

2  The Chancellor's preferred candidate

Background on Robert Chote

8. Mr Chote has been director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) for eight years. Prior to his appointment to the IFS in 2002, he was an advisor to the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Before this he was Economics Editor at the Financial Times. He holds a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Economics from Cambridge University. Mr Chote has appeared before the Treasury Committee on numerous occasions during his time as Director of the IFS.

Our evidence

9. In oral evidence, we questioned Mr Chote about his personal suitability for the post, the issues facing the new OBR, and how he saw himself responding to those issues. Topics we questioned Mr Chote about included:

  • Mr Chote's intention to serve his full term;
  • independence, and how confidence in independence can be maintained;
  • political impartiality;
  • the OBR's relationship with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Treasury, Parliament and the public;
  • the OBR's resources;
  • the role of the Chair of the OBR;
  • skills needed by the BRC and OBR;
  • uncertainty in forecasts;
  • relationship with independent forecasters;
  • relationship between OBR and Bank of England forecasts;
  • the OBR's work programme;
  • the models used for forecasting; and
  • ownership of forecasting models.


10. We are satisfied that Robert Chote has the professional competence and personal independence to be Chair of the OBR. We wish him every success in his new role.

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