Court of Audit’s Secretary-General moves to AFM

Secretary-General Ellen van Schoten (51), the Netherlands Court of Audit’s most senior manager, is leaving the Court of Audit to join the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). She will take up the position of Chief Operating Officer at the financial markets supervisor with effect from 1 October 2017. 

Dr E.M.A. van Schoten has worked for the Court of Audit for 11 years, the last 8½ years as the Secretary-General of this High Council of State. Her time at the Court of Audit was marked by many changes to strengthen the Court’s effectiveness and so bolster its authority. Investments were made to improve working relations with ministries and the audit profession, more compact products were introduced for parliament and auditees, the Court adopted a more active role in expert meetings and provided more information to explain its function and actions. Ellen van Schoten was in charge of implementing all these changes.

As head of the management team for the past two years, she was responsible for a far-reaching reorganisation of the Court of Audit, inspired by a strategy of innovating the Court’s audit methods and techniques and an associated realignment of its staff capacity. The financial duties of best efforts required by both parliament and the government since the first Rutte administration were also key drivers of the need to resize the Court’s organisation and make it more flexible. Both the central staff and the audit departments were affected. The Court of Audit’s staff establishment declined in just a few years from just under 300 FTEs to about 240.

Ellen van Schoten had been an audit director at the Court of Audit before she was appointed Secretary-General by Royal Decree. She had previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory, the Institute for Research on Public Expenditure, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. Ellen van Schoten has a doctorate in economics from the Free University of Amsterdam and a post-doctoral diploma in auditing.